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Campaign for babies to celebrate paid parental leave win

26 for babies is celebrating a victory for babies and families with the introduction of 26 weeks paid parental leave starting tomorrow.

“Today marks the end of a long campaign to give our smallest citizens the very best start in life. There is still more to be done to improve paid parental leave including increasing the rate and availability to all parents but 26 weeks paid parental leave is an important milestone,” said Rebecca Matthews, spokesperson for 26 for Babies.

The campaign to achieve 26 weeks paid parental leave started in 2012 when then-Labour MP Sue Moroney’s members bill was drawn from the ballot.

“We are absolutely delighted by the introduction of 26 weeks paid parental from 1 July 2020, this is an historic day for New Zealand babies.”

“There has been overwhelming public support from across the political spectrum for this important policy and we thank all Members of Parliament who have supported this campaign over the years including those from the Maori Party, United Future, NZ First, Labour and the Greens.”

“Parents all over New Zealand will benefit from more precious time spent at home with new-born babies,” said Rebecca Matthews.


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New Zealand’s littlest citizens finally given full 26 weeks with whānau

The 26 for Babies coalition was ecstatic to receive the news today that paid parental leave will be extended to 22 weeks next year and to the full 26 weeks by 2020. Spokesperson Rebecca Matthews-Heron described the coalition as ‘over the moon’ when they heard the announcement from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Continue reading


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Growing community support for eight more weeks paid parental leave

Community support for increasing paid parental leave continues to build with a new private members bill set to be debated in parliament this week.

“The strength of support for eight more weeks at home with our new babies has grown with the Tick for Kids coalition signing on to support the campaign,” said 26 for Babies Convenor Rebecca Matthews.

“Dozens of child wellbeing advocacy and health groups with a nationwide presence are part of Tick for Kids. Extending paid parental leave to six months is an issue that the experts – and voters – support. It’s time for all politicians to listen and invest in our smallest citizens,” said Matthews.

Tick for Kids spokesperson Lisa Woods said that the group had identified better support for parents to be able to focus on their young children as one of their top priorities.

“Sue Moroney’s bill to extend paid parental leave will give families more choice in that crucial first year of our babies’ lives. It will enable more mums to breastfeed for longer. Babies will be able to bond with their families at home for longer, and have all the benefits to health and wellbeing that provides.”

26 for Babies supporters will join Sue Moroney MP at an event at parliament on Wednesday 26 August, from 11-12 noon in Oliver’s Foyer, Ground Floor, Bowen House, Wellington.


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National has run out of reasons not to support bill

The 26 for Babies coalition is calling on National to vote Sue Moroney’s paid parental leave bill into law tonight. The Labour MP has substantially amended her bill to prioritise a smaller number of families.

“All new babies deserve their first six months at home with mum or dad,” said spokesperson Rebecca Matthews. “26 weeks paid parental leave is of such benefit to new babies that National should have always been willing to invest in it.”

“Longer paid parental leave for all families is still the goal, and we will get there. This policy is popular and no good evidence has been put up against it.”

“The evidence given by parents with multiple or premature births, and of babies with disabilities was very moving and strong in relation to this bill,” said Rebecca Matthews. “Moving them to six months would be a good step to where we should be going for all new babies.”

“The cost of the change was the only objection National raised against Sue Moroney’s bill. The amended bill will cost significantly less, and therefore National should vote for it to proceed.”