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Put Our Children First, Says Auckland Mayor

New release October 27, 2000

PUT OUR CHILDREN FIRST, SAYS MAYOR

Chris Fletcher Mayor of Auckland City is hosting a luncheon forum in support of International Children’s Day and the children of Auckland.

Months of planning with various agencies’ support have gone into this event, she said.

Monday 30 October was chosen for the date of the forum because it followed the first International Children’s Day on Sunday which celebrates healthy family life.

Two highly regarded and hard hitting child and family advocacy professionals will address the lunch forum; the Chief Executive of the national Collective of Women’s Refuges, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, and Clinical Leader of Starship’s child abuse unit Dr Patrick Kelly.

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait will outline the extent of abuse of our children and our families and community, and Dr Kelly will discuss the plight of abused children, particularly the tragedy of recurrent abuse which is occuring too often following assessment, because of the failure of agencies to coordinate services for effective follow up.

The Mayor supports the establishment in Auckland of a New Zealand trial for a multi-agency treatment centre.

“It is critical that everyone accepts family violence as a community problem and that it is therefore a serious responsibility for each and everyone of us to find solutions.”

The Auckland City Council has this week received a presentation from Dr Kelly on the development of a multi-agency centre for child abuse investigation and treatment. Work has been commissioned by the Council on the appropriate way it may provide support for this initiative.

“In ensuring that Auckland City is a good place to live and to work, and that its residents are safe and secure, the council must fulfil not only its role towards adults of our community but also its children,” she said.

On Sunday – the first International Children’s Day - the Mayor wants to see a special effort being made by everyone – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbours and friends - to put children first.

For more information please contact:
The Mayor, Chris Fletcher, telephone 025 276 0013.

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