Parliament

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

 

Children's Commissioner's Powers To Be Strengthed

Commissioner For Children's Powers To Be Strengthened

New legislation to significantly increase the roles, functions and powers of the Commissioner for Children is to be introduced to Parliament this year, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of legislation in September to strengthen the Commissioner's powers, give better effect to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) and increase the independence of the Commissioner. Both Labour and the Alliance committed to increasing the Commissioner's powers in their pre-election policies. Additional funding of $2.8m over four years for the Commissioner's Office was provided in the Budget to enable him to take on the expanded role envisaged in the bill.

The bill incorporates Select Committee recommendations on the Parliamentary Commissioner for Children Bill, a members bill currently before the House introduced by Alliance MP John Wright.

Mr Maharey said the bill would give the Commissioner a greater ability to be an effective advocate for children and young people.

"The Government wants to see the powers of the Commissioner strengthened in order to give children and young people under 18 years of age a strong voice when decisions that affect them are being made.

"The new legislation builds on the very good members bill introduced to Parliament by John Wright and incorporates most of the provisions of his bill and the recommendations made on it by the select committee.

"The Bill will include the following new functions and powers of the Commissioner:

- raising awareness and understanding and of children's rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC), monitoring the implementation of the Convention and advocating for children generally;

- the power to present reports to Courts, on their request, where there are issues relating to UNCROC or the interests of children generally;

- promoting the participation of children in the making of decisions that affect their lives;

- establishing of an accessible and effective complaints mechanisms for children and monitoring the nature and level of complaints;

- extending the Commissioner's current investigative function beyond the present limitation of coverage to the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 is removed and cover 'rights' as well as 'interests and welfare'; and,

- the right to report, with or without request, directly to the Prime Minister on matters affecting children's rights.

"The bill will not make the Commissioner for Children an Officer of Parliament. Submissions received by the select committee on Mr Wright's bill generally did not support this proposition.

"An additional $2.8m over four years was provided in last month's budget to enable the Commissioner's Office to take on these increased responsibilities.

"The bill will be introduced to Parliament in September. It is my intention to refer it to the Social Services Select Committee for public submissions and their consider with a view to seeing it enacted into law during 2002," Steve Maharey said.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election