Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Speech to Child Poverty Action Group briefing

Hon. Laila Harre
March 21 2001 Speech Notes
Speech to Child Poverty Action Group briefing
4.15pm
Beehive Theatrette

Good afternoon, and a warm welcome to the many views and experiences you bring to this briefing.

I am thrilled by the turnout, because it will allow wider dissemination of a report that for many might have sounded like a midsummer night's dream when it was released in January, but for children in poverty represents a chance for real debate about how to make life better.

I would like to start by thanking the Child Poverty Action Group for their willingness to share their expertise with us. You will all be familiar with their recently released report - Our Children the priority for policy.

You may not be so familiar with the people behind the report, and that is what today is all about. So I'd like to welcome Susan St John, Claire Dale, Mike O'Brien, Alison Blaiklock and Sharon Milne.

When this report was released in January I made the observation that it showed that real action to stamp out child poverty would require a shift in the way we prioritise and distribute resources. Now, as an Alliance MP, I can handle that.

But as an Alliance MP I can report that redistributing resources to poor children might be something we'll cheer for as a country, but not necessarily something we'll vote for.

I wanted to see this report discussed in this institution because all of us here – whether in government or opposition – can make a big difference for children by leading public opinion towards an acceptance that their interests are paramount.

Before I hand over the floor I would like to bring you up to speed with how the Labour-Alliance Coalition is progressing its policy and research agenda for children and young people, and how the non-government sector fits into the scheme of things.

Most of you will be familiar with the Agenda for Children that is currently under development. This will provide a framework for the development of government policies and services relating to children up to 18 years.

A discussion paper relating to the Agenda is to be launched next month, and this will be your chance to contribute to the government's vision for children over the next five years.

The Agenda for Children will include a separate consultation with children and young people. We want their views on whether New Zealand is a good place to live, what is good and what is not so good about being a young person, and what could be done to make life better for them.

This may sound simple, but up until now children and young people have never been asked how they perceive their position within their social environments. Consideration of the views of the child is a fundamental tenet of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and it's beyond time it was given due consideration.

The work we are all involved in recognises that childhood need not be viewed as a passive time of life, and there is now more understanding of the way children themselves influence family dynamics.

And as noted in the Child Poverty Action Group's report, one of the most serious barriers we face when it comes to effective policy making is that statistics relating to children are almost non-existent.

The same can be said for our young people, and dovetailing in to the Children's Agenda will be the Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa. The aim of the strategy is to improve the way government and wider society actively supports the positive development of our young men and women.

It may be hard to take, but we have to be honest about just how disadvantaged too many children are.

As stated in UNCROC, disadvantage has a major impact on the ability of children to exercise and enjoy their rights. As adults and policy makers it's up to us to create the conditions for this to happen, not to decide which of their rights children should have access to.

Today we will hear some home truths about being a child in New Zealand. I look forward to working with you all towards making home a place that all New Zealand children truly want to be.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday].

Housing Minister Phil Twyford's office said he would not be commenting on Mr Barclay's resignation as it was an employment matter. Last month, Mr Twyford confirmed that Mr Barclay had not been at work for a number of weeks. More>>

 

Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>

ALSO:

DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Again

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>

ALSO:

JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>

Earlier:

Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Report: Complaints About Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha

The Authority has found that DC Haumaha acted improperly by approaching staff and others to provide information to support him to refute the allegations about his 2016 conduct, or solicited other staff to do so on his behalf... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels