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United Future Proposes Commission For The Family

12 March 2001


United Future is suggesting a Commission for the Family be established to oversee all aspects of law and policy relating to New Zealand families.

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, and deputy leader, Anthony Walton, floated the idea at a meeting in New Plymouth this evening.

"At present, there is no single body responsible for making sure everything the Government does is good for New Zealand families." "Yet we all know the family is the cornerstone of our society," Mr Dunne says.

"United Future believes the primary test to be applied to all legislation is whether it benefits the family which means our approach is unashamedly 'families first'," Mr Dunne and Mr Walton say.

Mr Dunne says a Commission for the Family was one of a number of ideas United Future was looking to provide a better deal for New Zealand families.

"This Commission could play an important role in co-ordinating policies such as:

* family support and assistance;

* mentoring schemes for new parents;

* guardianship law, including joint custody arrangements,

* identifying at risk children and families early to stamp out the scourge of child abuse;

* developing proper parenting skills."

"At present there are too many agencies with a finger in the pie and the net result is that either policies are uncoordinated and lack cohesion, or that things simply fall between the cracks."

"A Commission for the Family would be a positive step towards ensuring New Zealand families are put centre-stage once again," Mr Dunne and Mr Walton say.


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