A leading advocacy group and philanthropic foundation have put pen to paper on a significant funding agreement for ongoing work towards universal dental in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Clare Foundation is today announcing a major three-year funding agreement with ActionStation Aotearoa to continue work on a universal dental campaign.
“We’re encouraged by political parties like Labour and the Greens centring universal dental this election, and we’re very grateful for the support of Clare Foundation to ensure the progress towards implementing universal dental is accelerated in the years ahead,” says Max Harris, convenor of the Dental for All coalition based within ActionStation.
ActionStation is a longstanding progressive advocacy organisation that has been central in recent years in campaigns for increasing benefit levels and improving renters’ rights, among other issues.
Clare Foundation was founded by investor and social entrepreneur Anna Stuck, which aims to improve oral health outcomes as one of four key focus areas that create tangible impact and drive extraordinary change.
“We are inspired by the work ActionStation has already done, and we look forward to supporting them to keep up the momentum around the critical need for dental care,” said Alice Montague, CEO at Clare Foundation.
The Dental for All coalition is made up of a range of health professionals, unions, and campaigners, including the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) and Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP). The coalition has supported the release of ASMS’s report Tooth be Told, backed polling commissioned by ASMS showing 74% of New Zealanders back universal dental, and launched an ActionStation petition for universal dental that has attracted over 16,500 signatures.
“The generous support of Clare Foundation is a wonderful affirmation of the work that has already been done by so many people to press for Te Tiriti o Waitangi-consistent universal dental, and we will keep pushing in the years ahead to make universal dental a reality,” adds Max Harris.
The campaign funded by the three year Clare Foundation grant will employ an ActionStation campaigner, community organiser, and (among other things) support research work and the gathering of lived experience stories of people under-served by the existing approach to dental.