The Kiwi Way – A Fair Go For All
30 January 2007
“Is it really beyond us as a country to ensure that every kid turns up to primary school with some food in their stomach? I don’t think so.
Hunger and malnutrition are simply unacceptable in a developed country like New Zealand. And it’s a fact that kids can’t and don’t learn if they are constantly hungry. Their brains don’t develop properly and they can’t stay focused in the classroom. An empty stomach and an empty lunchbox set kids up for an empty life.
Obviously it’s a parent’s responsibility to feed their children. What more fundamental parenting role could there be? But that is not what is happening in some parts of the country.
Unless we tackle this problem we are effectively punishing children for the sins of their parents.
Currently, some schools dip into their operational budgets to provide a few Vegemite sandwiches for those who miss out. That is not good enough.
I believe this is an area where government can work alongside the business community to find new and innovative solutions to a deepening social problem.
A National government will challenge the business community to work with us in backing a programme of providing food in low-decile schools for kids in need…
… You might ask “where will the money come from?”
The fact is we are already spending millions of dollars for Wellington bureaucrats to write strategies and to dream up and run their own schemes. I want more of those dollars spent on programmes that work, regardless of who thinks them up and who runs them.”
– John Key, 30 January 2007 (Note: This article has apparently been removed from National’s website)
Alternative source: NZ Herald – John Key’s ‘A fair go for all’ speech