“People have been really pleased about it,” she said.

And so they  bloody well should be.

But the policy was not officially announced until today because the organisations involved wanted to make sure there were no teething problems.

Teething problems, of course, raise the matter of oral health.

Visits to the dentist are “free”, too, until Kiwis turn 18.

After that, most people have to pay the full cost of treatment – and quickly learn that dentists know how to drill into a family’s income as deftly as they drill  into our teeth.

Labour had plans to lighten the burden on patients.

Whereas the Key Government extended free doctors’ visits and prescriptions for children aged under six to all children aged under 13 from July next year, during the election campaign Labour pledged to have the policy take effect after the election, should it be able to form a Government.