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New Zealand's first Children's Day

31 May 2000 Media Statement

New Zealand's first Children's Day

New Zealand will have its own Children’s Day on October 29 this year, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Children’s Day 2000 is a joint initiative between government and community agencies. Primary agencies involved with the day are Child, Youth and Family, Barnardos and the Office of the Commissioner for Children. The day, chosen to occur on the last Sunday each October, will hopefully become an annual event where all communities in New Zealand are encouraged to have special activities where adults spend time with children.

"If we don’t honour, treasure and celebrate children, what kind of future do we expect?

"We want this day to personify the important things that adults need to show and share with children to improve children’s lives. Investing in children now pays dividends for the future of us all.

"Children's Day 2000 is a first for New Zealand. The final shape of the Day will be brought together by a wide range of individuals and organisations, including grass roots organisations, businesses, schools, and cultural and religious groups.

"Spending time with children is the major theme of Children’s Day. Four other key messages:
 love and affection;
 praise and encouragement;
 listening and talking; and
 new experiences
describe ways to unlock the potential in all our children.

"Children are being actively included in the design of their day. A children’s consultation group has been formed to assist the adult steering group which has responsibility for managing the progression of the day and how it will be celebrated in the future.

"Children’s Day has its own web site, www.childrensday.org.nz, and will distribute a Children’s Day kit to community groups in August with suggestions and ideas about what to do with children on 29 October," Steve Maharey said.


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