Children, families focus of city election forum

Three Dunedin politicians gave voters food for thought during an election forum at Council of Social Services Dunedin last night.

About 100 people heard Labour MP Clare Curran, National List MP Jo Hayes and Green co-leader Metiria Turei respond to set questions about major social issues such as the increasing amount of poverty, the declining quality of housing, the inequalities in access to health services and the increase in domestic violence in New Zealand.

For most issues, Mrs Turei and Ms Curran agreed on solutions to the issues, which included policies providing significant investment in the health, education and financial welfare of children and families.

They believed the policies would reduce poverty in New Zealand and loosen the grip it has on the lives of children.

However, Ms Hayes fought criticism of the Government's work on those issues so far by presenting National Party policies implemented to tackle them.

While many had been successful, others were still ''a work in progress''.

The room appeared to shift politely, but uncomfortably, at the mention of the Government's National Standards policy, which Ms Hayes said was successful in helping reduce poverty by cutting the number of children falling through cracks in the education sector.

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