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

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels