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Green Party announce Welcome Pack for newborn babies

"The Green Party wants every child to thrive and the Wahakura Welcome Pack will help do this from day one."

The Green Party today announced its final social policy before the election, aimed at ensuring that every child thrives from the day they are born.

To complement the range of initiatives already announced, the Green Party will provide every newborn baby with a welcome package that includes some of the essentials needed by every baby from the day they are born.

The key policy points of the package are:

  1. Provide every newborn child with a Wahakura Welcome Pack consisting of a wahakura (flax woven sleeping pod), bedding, blanket, sheets, a towel, clothes, bibs, beanies, socks and reusable nappies.
  2. Valued at around $295, the package will cost around $251 due to bulk buying reductions, meaning a further $15.06 million investment into our youngest children
  3. The Wahakura Welcome Pack will be universally available to the approximately 60,000 babies born each year with an expected uptake of 40,000, based on Finland's experience.

"For many parents, the birth of a new child is a highly stressful and financially straining time," said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

"By providing these basics, we are not only ensuring all children get a good start to life, we are also acknowledging the contribution that parents make to society and helping them out a little.

"The Wahakura Welcome Pack, along with the non-discriminatory Parental Tax Credit and the new Children's Credit, forms the foundation of the Green Party's promise to help bring children out of poverty.

"The wahakura was originally designed as a safe sleeping option for parents that practice bed sharing, however, the appeal is universal.

"There are so many benefits to providing this package for new babies. Not only does it provide financial relief, wahakuras have also been linked to the decrease in Sudden Unexplained Death in Infants.

"Our poorest children are the ones most likely to suffer the worst health outcomes, often caused by material deprivation.

"Any parent or caregiver will tell you that any extra help, during the first crucial months in a baby's life, is always more than welcome.

"The Green Party wants every child to thrive and the Wahakura Welcome Pack will help do this from day one," said Mrs Turei.

For full details go to: https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/fairer-society/wahakura

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