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Maharey To Lead Delegation To UN Children’s Forum

1 May 2002

Maharey To Lead NZ Delegation To UN Children’s Forum

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey will lead New Zealand’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children in New York which opens on Wednesday, 8 May 2002.

The three-day Special Session on Children was orginally scheduled to take place in New York last September, but was postponed following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Steve Maharey said the New Zealand delegation will include the young people selected to attend the Special Session last year - eighteen-year old Te Kerei Moka from Christchurch and thirteen-year old Jessica Dewan from Auckland. Other members are the Commissioner for Children, Roger McClay, Anne Hartley, Ministry of Social Development Manager of Child and Family Policy and Maraea Bellamy, Te Puni Kokiri Health, Welfare, Housing and Justice Manager. Trish Grant from the office of the Commissioner of Children will accompany and advise Te Kerei and Jessica.

“Te Kerei and Jessica stood out for their contributions to their communities and their commitment to improving the circumstances of those around them. They are both exceptional young people who I am certain will make New Zealanders proud when they contribute to this important forum on the rights of children.

"As well as participating in the main session, Te Kerei and Jessica will also take part in a Children’s Forum aimed at celebrating children’s rights and to identify ways to influence leaders on programmes designed to benefit children.

"The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children on 8-10 May is a follow-up to the 1990 World Summit for Children where the 10 year Action Plan for the Survival, Protection and Development of Children was agreed. The Special Session will focus on a renewed commitment and pledge for specific actions for the coming decade,” Steve Maharey said.

Jessica and Te Kerei’s attendance at the Special Session has been supported by a range of government agencies and their trip to New York has been funded by Save the Children NZ and Te Puni Kôkiri.. The New Zealand delegation departs New Zealand on Friday afternoon.

. . / 2
Prior to his arrival in New York on May 7, Steve Maharey is visiting Ottawa for a series of meetings with social policy and tertiary education experts. He returns to New Zealand on May 13.

Contact: Michael Gibbs, Press Secretary, (04) 471 9154 or (021) 270 9115,
e-mail: michael.gibbs@parliament.govt.nz.

Photo opportunity. The New Zealand delegation are meeting at the VIP lounge at Auckland International Airport on Friday 3 May at 3pm and will be available for a photo call. Media wishing to attend will need special entry into the lounge, please contact Michael Gibbs, (021) 270 9115, to arrange this.

Profiles

Te Kerei Moka

Te Kerei is 18 years old and lives in Christchurch where he attends Aranui High School. He is involved in a number of activities within the Maori, Youth and Sports community. Te Kerei is the eldest boy of seven children. He is valued particularly for the work he does for other young people.

Te Kerei is one of six child delegates specially selected to address and participate in a roundtable discussion on the theme of “Renewal of Commitment and Future Action for Children in the Next Decade.” His speech will be in both Te Reo and English.

Jessica Dewan

Jessica is 13 years old and lives in Mangere Bridge, Auckland. She is a New Zealand citizen of Tongan and Fijian/Indian descent. Her teachers describe her as a pupil who stands out as a leader and a peacemaker within the community. As well as being heavily involved in school leadership activities she has a commitment to helping those in need in her community.

Jessica and Te Kerei will participate in the Children’s Forum from 5-7 May, where they will have the opportunity to: explore issues highlighted in the outcome document of the Special Session “A World Fit for Children”. They will also interact with world leaders and discuss ways in which children and young people can be involved in the implementation of commitments made at the Special Session.

Ends

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