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.
“This was an extremely long campaign from our broad-based coalition, all saying the same thing. From nurses to Playcentre, from unions to Unicef, Government has always had clear advice that the right thing for our babies is time at home to bond with their families. Extending paid parental leave gives Kiwi kids the best possible start in life. It also respects and values the contribution their parents and caregivers are making to New Zealand’s future” Ms Matthews said.
“I’m excited that we’ve managed to make a real tangible difference for whānau by winning this campaign. We have waited 5 years to hear the news that the Government would honour those first precious weeks for our smallest citizens, and I want to thank every single person who has contributed to our success. Your postcards, picnics and political advice have finally paid off. I want to pay particular tribute to former Labour MP Sue Moroney who led the campaign from inside parliament. You should all be very proud of what we’ve achieved together for New Zealand families.”