National | Kura

Free period products initiative in schools

An initiative to provide free period products for rangatahi in schools has rolled out this week.

Period care leader Essity has partnered with OfficeMax to jointly deliver the government’s Ikura | Manaakitia te whare tangata period products in schools initiative.

Essity's executive general manager of business to business, Jody Scaife, says Essity is confident that the initiative will help to break barriers to period care, drawing from a similar programme run in Victoria.

“We've got some great experience with a programme that’s similar in scale in Victoria [Australia],” Scaife says. “We're providing period care products to government schools. And we know that that's making a material difference to the students in terms of their well-being, and also the educational outcomes.”

The initial trial saw “great participation” in the initiative with more than 85% of kura, where there are two ways of getting the products to students.

“There’ll be direct delivery to the schools, but more importantly, there's going to be a dispenser that's installed in the washroom so bathrooms that allow students to access when and where they need them.”

During the trial, Scaife was given lots of feedback from students about what products are most important to them.

“The dispensing solution will provide period pads and tampons, and they’ll be in different types of absorbencies.

“What’s really important is students can be confident that the products that they're using are really high quality and they're safe, and it's underpinned by a brand like Libra that's really reputable in the market.”