Associate Minister of Education, Jan Tinetti, today hailed the Government’s free period products in schools initiative a huge success, with the programme now involving more than 2,085 schools.
Speaking at Heretaunga College to mark one year since the initiative was introduced to schools, the Minister said it may have started small with a pilot of 15 Waikato schools, “but overwhelming demand and support, means we are now reaching 96% of estimated menstruating students.”
“The results speak for themselves backed up by the feedback we hear from students, principals and teachers across the country who are unified in describing the positive impact the free period products in schools is having,” she said.
Minister Tinetti paid particular tribute to Heretaunga College for being a lead supporter of the initiative, which has provided more than 700 thousand packs of product to 216,000 estimated menstruators in participating schools and kura.
Between 2021 and 2024, the Government will spend around $25 million on the initiative which is set to run until at least until June 2024.
The Ministry of Education has recently selected a supplier to develop a range of student-facing resources. These will align with the New Zealand curriculum and will be engaging, encourage conversation and strengthen understanding of menstruation and wellbeing, said Minister Tinetti.
“Ikura | Manaakitia te whare tangata removes one of the barriers that prevent children and young people regularly attending school. Providing free period products is one way Government can support whānau and positively impact children’s wellbeing,” she said.