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BDFL - Memuneh
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#271964 3-Jun-2020 20:02
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Press release:



Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.


 During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the Government’s $2.6 million investment. The roll-out will begin at 15 Waikato schools and be expanded to all state and state-integrated schools on an opt-in basis in 2021.


 “We know that nearly 95,000 9-to-18 year olds may stay at home during their periods due to not being able to afford period products. By making them freely available, we support these young people to continue learning at school,” Jacinda Ardern said.


 “Our plan to halve child poverty in 10 years is making a difference but there is more to do and with families hit hard by the COVID-19 global pandemic, it’s important to increase that support in the areas it can make an immediate difference.


 “This is another important initiative that sits alongside our work to reduce child poverty and hardship including the $5.5bn Families Package, free lunches in schools, cheaper visits to the doctors, stopping schools asking for donations, and lifting benefits,” Jacinda Ardern said.


 Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter thanked the researchers and campaigners who have helped to raise the issue of the prohibitive cost of period products for some families and the subsequent absence from school for some children and young people.


“Menstruation is a fact of life for half the population and access to these products is a necessity, not a luxury,” Julie Anne Genter said.


“We want an Aotearoa New Zealand where all people have access to education and the things they need to live a good life – I am so pleased this Government is finding ways of helping children and young people, at a time when every extra bit of assistance is important.”


Why Waikato?


In the first instance 20 per cent of schools from across New Zealand with the highest concentration of socio-economic disadvantage were identified to ensure the programme reached those communities experiencing the greatest hardship. Schools were then grouped by region. The Waikato was selected as a region that provided a wide mix of settings across a relatively small geographic area. The schools won’t be named until they have fully considered and opted in to the Ministry of Education programme. The programme will be expanded through 2021.


Further information


This initiative will contribute to the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, in addition to the 75 initiatives included when it was launched last year.


Findings from the Youth19 Survey found 12 per cent of year 9 to 13 students who menstruate reported difficulty getting access to products due to cost. Approximately one in 12 students reported having missed school due to lack of access to sanitary products. This trend is worse for lower decile schools, but barriers to access exist for students in schools of all deciles.


Recent analysis undertaken by researchers at the University of Otago, using Census data and the New Zealand Deprivation Index, found that 94,788 girls aged 9 to 18 from the country's poorest households may be unable to afford to buy sanitary items and could therefore be staying home when they have their period.




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  #2498029 4-Jun-2020 11:19
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This is bloomin fantastic. Very happy with this kind of social betterment. 

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Master Geek


  #2498032 4-Jun-2020 11:39
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This is good. I thought if they can give out condoms everywhere, then sanitary products should be a no brainer too.


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Ultimate Geek

  #2498089 4-Jun-2020 11:57
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I think that ultimately thats a better / cheaper option than the never ending campaign to remove GST from them which would achieve little else than putting more profit into the retailers

BDFL - Memuneh
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  #2498095 4-Jun-2020 12:07
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There's no mention in the press release but this is a direct action to reduce period poverty in New Zealand. It is not even an issue of GST - some women don't have enough to buy the needed sanitary products and this action is a step in helping young women have access to this.



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  #2498353 4-Jun-2020 15:58
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Father of three daughters. We are lucky in that we can buy necessities as required. Many are not so. These products are absolutely a necessity and I think this is a great idea. Expand to rest of the country. I also support removing GST on these products.

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