25 March 2024  Media Releases

Continued funding for period products in schools and kura welcomed by Mana Mokopuna – Children and Young People’s Commission

Chief Children’s Commissioner Dr Claire Achmad is welcoming the Government’s commitment to continue funding Ikura | Manaakitia te whare tangata, the period products in schools programme.

Periods are a normal part of life for half of the population, but young people don’t always have access to the products they need to manage them and feel comfortable while they are learning.

University of Otago data estimates up to 95,000 mokopuna could be missing school because of a lack of access to period products.

“Mokopuna around the motu have told me that they want to be engaging in their education and thriving. Providing these products freely at school is one way the Government can directly and practically address one aspect of material hardship for mokopuna, so I very much welcome this decision announced by Minister Stanford and Minister Upston.

“I know this programme supports the mana of children and young people, and helps support them to engage in education by attending school and kura, reduces stigma, and makes a positive difference to student health well-being,” says Dr Achmad.

“This commitment upholds a children’s rights approach by making period products freely available in schools and kura. This contributes to achieving nationwide period equity, meaning that all mokopuna have access to the period products they need, regardless of their socioeconomic background.

“In our work as the independent advocate for Aotearoa New Zealand’s mokopuna, we’ve heard directly from mokopuna that limited resources can make life really hard for them and their whānau. The cost of living pressures on many whānau with mokopuna are deepening these realities every day.

“Many mokopuna have told us that they miss out on doing things because their family can’t afford it – they’ve talked with us about barriers to accessing health care, the cost of food, bills and petrol, and the impact that a scarcity of basic resources has on their ability to engage in education. Girls have specifically told us about period poverty as a barrier to living a good life.”

“I’m pleased to see the Government making this investment to reduce barriers to school attendance, and normalising this aspect of mokopuna health. I know it will make a positive difference to the well-being of many mokopuna and is a tangible way to uphold their mana.”


Editor’s notes

Mana Mokopuna – Children and Young People’s Commission is an Independent Crown Entity, and is the independent advocate for all children and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Chief Children’s Commissioner is the full-time, visible advocate for all children and young people, and is the Chair of Mana Mokopuna’s Board.

Chief Children’s Commissioner Dr Claire Achmad is available for interviews. For media enquiries, please contact:

Melissa Wastney
Kaitohutohu - Senior Communications and Media Advisor
Mana Mokopuna – Children and Young People's Commission
029 909 2715