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Govt's Strong Record For Children And Families

8 August 2002

Government’s Strong Record For Children And Families Will Continue

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey says Labour intends improving support for children and families over the next three years in government.

Key pieces of work now completed, such as the Agenda for Children and the Te Rito: the New Zealand Family Violence Strategy, will be implemented during this three year term and will see all relevant government agencies and communities working in partnership to protect children and support their families.

Steve Maharey said he was pleased to see a recognition of the substantial propgress made for children and families since 1999 in the report released today by Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa and he agreed with their disgnosis that this now needed time to properly bed in.

“Raising children and making sure they get the best possible start in life was a key focus for Labour in our first term – and was signaled out in our social security as a key priority for this three year term.

“For example, over the last three years we have:
 written New Zealand’s first Agenda for Children, involving all the key players who advocate for children, to give us a concrete platform to move forward on issues relating to children and families;
 prepared a comprehensive family violence prevention strategy and started funding its implementation; and
 independently reviewed and substantially increased funding to Child, Youth and Family.

“We now have a very good base of initiatives for children and families and a solid policy base on which to make new investment decisions during the next three years.

“I agree with Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa that, as a nation, we need to make children a much higher priority. Initiatives like our planned Parenting Council and changes to the Family Support system will help do this – so will the planned funding increases to support the roll-out of programmes we initiated during our last term.

“Our vision is simple: we want New Zealand to regain its status as a great place to bring up children once again,” Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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