Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party.
When I first mentioned feeding the kids as a first step to eliminating child poverty three years ago, a lot of other political leaders laughed at me for being so simplistic.
But I took the kaupapa on the road, helped build a support coalition of more than 30 national organisations including both educational and medical groups, got nationwide television coverage courtesy of an excellent series by Campbell Live, enlisted the support of Labour, the Greens, New Zealand First and the Maori Party, managed to get our policy listed in the Top Five Issues of the Year in 2013, and a poll showing that more than 70% of New Zealanders supported a government-funded food in schools programme.
Following my departure from parliament last month, I was approached by MPs from three different parties offering to take over responsibility for the Feed the Kids Bill, which says a lot for how much support this kaupapa now has.
I asked Metiria Turei whether she would mind taking over the bill because the Green Party had been very helpful to me as MANA leader during the last parliament, and because Metiria had spoken with considerable passion and knowledge during the first reading of the bill.
The bill is currently live in the house as we speak, and I wish Metira well in her efforts to advance the bill through the house.