The first period products funded as part of the Government’s nationwide rollout are being delivered to schools and kura this week.
The products are being offered as part of wider efforts to combat child poverty, help increase school attendance, and make a positive impact on children’s wellbeing.
“We know that nearly 95,000 9-to-18 year olds may stay at home during their periods due to not being able to afford period products. By making them freely available, we support these young people to continue learning at school,” says Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti.
A total of 1680 schools and kura have now opted-into the access to period products in schools initiative, and these schools now can place orders for tampons and pads.
Tauranga businesswoman and former lawyer Vicki Scott is part of the nationwide initiative.
Her Crimson Organic products are being utilised by the government initiative.
“I am absolutely ecstatic to be part of this history-making initiative,” Vicki says, following last week’s announcement by Associate Minister for Education, Minister for Women and fellow Tauranga resident Jan Tinetti.
“This is a very exciting and momentous occasion for human rights and therefore women’s rights in New Zealand. It’s a giant step towards gender equity in schools, and life.”
From next week, Crimson Organic tampons will be handed out free of charge in schools as part of the government’s Access To Period Products initiative. Her company is one of four preferred suppliers to the government project.
Read more of Vicki’s story here.
Jan Tinetti says schools that have not yet opted-in to the initiative can continue to do so.
“The positive response from students to the pilot has encouraged us to expand the initiative to all New Zealand schools and kura. The nationwide roll out will reach over 300,000 female students - 75 per cent of eligible students who likely menstruate.
“Feedback from schools and kura shows there’s an urgent need for free period products, so this first phase of the nationwide roll out is focused on getting products into schools and kura as simply and quickly as possible.”
Jan Tinetti. File photo/SunLive.
Subsequent phases will refine the distribution model - for example student direct orders, bulk supply distributed through a trusted adult, dispenser units in bathrooms - and look at education tools.
“The free period products in schools initiative is the latest in a series of Government programmes to reduce barriers to education for all students and their whānau,” says Tinetti.
“Others in the series include healthy free school lunches, the abolition of exam fees, and the replacement of school donations.
“I am so pleased this Government is finding ways of helping children and young people, at a time when every extra bit of assistance is important.”