First period products delivered to schools

The first period products funded as part of the Government’s nationwide rollout are being delivered to schools and kura this week, 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,” Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti said.

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.

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.

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.

“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,” Jan Tinetti said.