31 May 2010

Seven new supported homes for teenage parents

9:15 am on 31 May 2010

The Government is to fund seven new supported homes for teenage parents, as part of a package unveiled in the Budget.

The $15 million package, which provides funding for four years, also includes money for more case workers.

The services will be focused on areas where there are high numbers of teenage parents - Gisborne, South and West Auckland, Hamilton and the central North Island.

New Zealand has the second highest teen birth rate among developed nations and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says it's clear those parents need support.

But Labour's Annette King says that with no money set aside to build the houses, it will be left up to stretched community groups, charity organisations or iwi to find the cash.

Ms King says the Government needs to rethink its policy for helping teenage parents.