18 Feb 2021

Govt to fund free period products for all school, kura students

3:25 pm on 18 February 2021

All primary, intermediate, secondary school and kura students will have access to free period products from June this year.

Sanitary products.

Schools and kura must opt in by March to be part of the programme. Photo: 123rf

The products have been available to more than 3000 students at 15 schools in Waikato since Term 3 last year, as part of the Access to Period Products pilot programme.

The Ministry of Education will work with suppliers to manage a phased rollout of the scheme nationwide, which the government expects will happen by the end of term 2 of this year.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said young people should not miss out on their education because of something that is a normal part of life.

"Providing free period products at school is one way the government can directly address poverty, help increase school attendance, and make a positive impact on children's wellbeing.

"We want to see improved engagement, learning and behaviour, fewer young people missing school because of their period, and reduced financial hardship amongst families of participating students," Ardern said.

Schools and kura must opt in by March to be part of the programme, but will be able to take part at a later date if they do not sign up for the initiative by then.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs