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Maharey and Harré : Tell us what you think

11 April 2001
Media Statement

Maharey and Harré : Tell us what you think

“What better way to hear the views of young New Zealanders than by asking them?” Steve Maharey, the Minister of Social Services and Employment, and Laila Harré, the Minister of Youth Affairs said at this morning’s Agenda for Children consultation launch.

Talking with children attending the Aro Valley Community Centre holiday programme, the Ministers were able to hear first hand what the kids thought about being a young New Zealander.

“It can be a rare event for politicians to meet with young people and hear what they think about growing up in this country of ours”, the Ministers said.

“They have a lot they want to say, and a lot we need to hear.”

The Agenda for Children is a government plan of action to make New Zealand a great place for children. It is being developed through work led by the Ministry of Social Policy.

The Agenda will provide a plan for child policy and research work over the next five years.

“Consulting with children, young people and adults interested in children’s issues is a very important part of developing this plan,” the Ministers said.

Over the next 10 weeks a discussion booklet seeking the views of various organisations and individuals working with children and young people, and the parents or care givers of young people, will be distributed around the country. This booklet sets out the early thinking on a vision, principles, key goals and possible priority action areas for child policy.

At the same time, hundreds of children and young people aged 5-17years will be asked about what makes New Zealand a good place for them, what would make it better, and what they consider to be the important issues for children and young people.

“This Government is committed to improving the lives of all young New Zealanders. Particularly those suffering the effects of poverty, violence and inequality,” the Ministers said.

Complementing the Agenda for Children is the Ministry of Youth Affairs Youth development Strategy Aotearoa which Laila Harré will launch later this month.

This strategy will provide a guiding set of principles on youth development that will inform the work of Government in the area of youth policy development.

This is occurring over a similar timeframe as the Agenda for Children, and demonstrates the Government’s long-term commitment to making New Zealand a great place to grow up in.

Children and young people can send their views and ideas on the Agenda for Children to the Ministry of Social Policy through the interactive website: www.globalnet.org.nz.


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