17 Sep 2014

Greens pledge items for newborns

7:17 am on 17 September 2014

The Green Party says people with new-born babies will get a flax woven sleeping pod, or wahakura, and other items if it is voted into Government.

Metiria Turei.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The party described the support as a "Wahakura Welcome Pack", which will also include bedding, blanket, bibs and reusable nappies.

Statistics show that 80 percent of babies who die from Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy are Maori.

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei said the aim is to ensure that every child thrives from the day they are born.

Ms Turei said the poorest children are the ones most likely to suffer the worst health outcomes which are often caused by material deprivation.

She said as well as as providing financial relief, the use of wahakura has also been linked to a decrease in Sudden Unexplained Death in Infants.

The Wahakura Welcome Pack would be universally available to the approximately 60,000 babies born each year.

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