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A Chance for all NZers to Treasure our Children

UNICEF NZ (UN Children’s Fund)

Media Release

28 February 2014

Children’s Day: a Chance for all New Zealanders to Treasure our Children

National Children’s Day (Sunday, 2 March) is an opportunity for parents to spend time having fun with their children and for all New Zealanders to reflect on ensuring that children know they are a treasured part of our community and society.

“Children’s Day is all about celebrating and treasuring our youngest citizens and reminds us all of the need to put children first in everything we do. Today’s children are growing up in a fast-paced world, with a range of things competing for parents’ and decision-makers’ attention. Children’s Day is a chance for parents and caregivers to spend time with their children and for politicians to think about what they are doing to create a society that gives children the best possible opportunities,” said UNICEF NZ National Advocacy Manager, Deborah Morris-Travers. 

To help mark Children’s Day UNICEF NZ has created several videos of children and young people talking about what it means to be treasured. The videos are available at: http://bit.ly/NA6raL     

“With parents balancing both paid and unpaid work, sometimes without the support of extended family, the pressures on them are very real.  Now more than ever, technology also plays a major part in people’s lives and can often interfere with quality time that children so regularly need. Children themselves tell us they want their parents to take time to play with them, they don’t like it when their parents are stressed out or angry, and that access to free recreation is important to them,” added Ms Morris-Travers.

On Children’s Day, many communities make entrance to swimming pools and other facilities free of charge, making it more affordable for families to take the time to have some fun and play together. At www.childrensday.org.nz families can find out what’s happening in their local community so that they can celebrate together.

For central and local government politicians, Children’s Day is also a useful reminder of the need to keep children’s rights and interests at the forefront of considerations. Policy decisions shape the social and economic conditions that families are living in, thereby impacting on the way that families function. In the past thirty years, New Zealanders have seen what happens when children are ignored in policy-making and there is now growing recognition that policy has to support families and communities to meet the needs of their children. It is good for all of us when children reach their potential. 

“UNICEF encourages all New Zealanders to take time on Children’s Day to have fun with the children in their lives and reflect on what more each of us can do to ensure all children feel treasured and valued as part of our society,” said Ms Morris-Travers.

ENDS

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