Alongside (Prime Minister) Bill English, I proudly announced on Tuesday (August 29, 2017), National’s Parents and Newborns Package which gives more support to young New Zealand families – in addition to the extra $26 per week on average that we are putting into $1.3 million Working Families’ pockets.
Delivering more to Kiwi families is only possible because of National’s strong economic plan to keep growing our economy.
So, what are we doing?
First, we are progressively extending Paid Parental Leave to 22 weeks over two years. From July 1, 2018, Paid Parental Leave will extend to 20 weeks giving new parents more precious time at home with their little one.
Second, we are adding flexibility to the system; so, both parents can take some of the 22 weeks off at the same time, and enjoy time at home together with their baby.
We know how important that time together is for both parents of new and growing families. Our policy will ensure that both parents can spend more time supporting each other and bonding with their babies in those special (but stressful!) early months.
Third, we know that a mother’s health is vital not just for herself, but for her baby and her family.
That is why, we are supporting pregnant women and new mothers to take care of their own health by offering them one free dental course during pregnancy and up to their baby’s first birthday.
Fourth, National believes that all New Zealanders deserve the chance to have a family.
That is why a new National government will give more New Zealand families a chance to have a baby by providing a third free IVF cycle, and speeding up access to fertility treatment for eligible couples.
I am proud to be part of a strong National team led by Bill English that is backing New Zealand families.
Paula Bennett is Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand. She is also Minister of Police, State Services, Tourism and Women.