NZ offers free period products in schools

·1-min read

New Zealand schools will offer students free period products, including pads and tampons, from June.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that all primary, intermediate, secondary and Maori school students would provide the essential products to increase access to education.

"Young people should not miss out on their education because of something that is a normal part of life for half the population," Ms Ardern said in Hamilton on Thursday.

"Providing free period products at school is one way the government can directly address poverty, help increase school attendance and make a positive impact on children's wellbeing.

"We want to see improved engagement, learning and behaviour, fewer young people missing school because of their period, and reduced financial hardship amongst families of participating students."

The rollout comes after a trial which saw products provided to 3200 people.

The trial showed students with periods at school could feel embarrassment or stigma, causing them to miss classes.

The government will also consider expanding the products available to include menstrual cups and eco-friendly sanitary underwear.