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Families Commission to reach more New Zealanders

23 February 2005

Families Commission to reach more New Zealanders

The Families Commission's move to have a greater profile in Auckland has been welcomed by Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey.

In opening the Commission’s new office in Auckland Steve Maharey said he was pleased to see the new organisation would be working alongside the range of community organisations already established in the region.

"This is great news for Auckland families," Steve Maharey said.

"The Families Commission is part of a wider social sector which includes non-government organisations with responsibilities for family services.

“The Auckland office will be an asset in achieving close working relationships with the many social service organisations, interest groups, tertiary institutions and researchers which base themselves here."

The Commission was set up in recognition of the importance that the development of strong families has in shaping New Zealand. Its role is to work within the realities of New Zealand family life today.

“The reality is that nearly a third of our population, including nearly 300,000 families, live in the Auckland region.

“The region is also home to two thirds of the country’s Pacific people and almost two thirds of our Asian population.

“As the Families Commission has a responsibility to speak up for all New Zealand families it makes good sense to have a presence in our largest, most culturally diverse region,” he said.

As an independent Crown entity the Commission is mandated to advocate for the interests of families, and raise awareness of the issues that affect them.

In its first major project, to be launched in April, the Commission will be asking families throughout New Zealand about what they think is important for their well-being, what gets in the way, and what compromises they have to make.

ENDS

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