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Robson welcomes Families Commissioners

23 June 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Robson welcomes Families Commissioners

Progressive welcomes the announcements of the new Families Commissioners

The Families Commission will be formally established on 1 July 2004 and will act as an advocate for the interests of families. It will encourage informed debate on issues affecting families. It will also commission research into family issues and comment on policies affecting families. Funding of $28.233m was provided in Budget 2003 for the Commission’s first four years.

"For the Progressive Party, there is no division between our commitment to strengthening families and our campaigns against drugs in society, our successful campaign to win Four Weeks Annual Leave for all workers or our commitment to strong economic, regional and industry development programmes.

"Social and economic development are two sides of the same coin. All over the world, working families are under financial and social stress as they balance their competing family and work commitments. The poverty of so many families is one of the greatest contributions to family stress.

"Progressive voted in favour of the Families Commission because our commitment is to making New Zealand a safer, more decent and happy place in which to live and work, to prosper and to raise families.

"The August 2002 Coalition Agreement between Labour and the Progressives included a recognition of Progressive's commitment to balancing work and family. The Families Commission will have responsibility for advocating for families and promoting better understanding of family issues and needs amongst government agencies and in the wider community and contributing to policy development across the government as a key stakeholder on family-related issues.

"It has all only been possible because three MMP-responsible parties, Labour, Progressive and United Future are working constructively together to get good things done for New Zealanders based on sound pro-development policies," Matt Robson said.

Matt Robson said Labour, Progressive, and United Future were all pleased with the high calibre of the six commissioners selected.

The Commissioners bring a variety of family, advocacy and governance skills to their roles. They are Dr Rajen Prasad, Sharron Cole, Sandra Alofivae, Carolynn Bull, Lyn Campbell, and Prof Mason Durie.

The Commission will initially focus on issues for families with children, and on improving the information and data available about New Zealand families. Its work will greatly assist legislation and policies aimed at strengthening families.


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