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Families Commission milestone

Media statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 7 February 2008

Families Commission milestone

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne says the Families Commission parenting programme launched today marks the achievement of another plank of his party’s confidence and supply agreement the Labour-led Government.

Under the agreement, the Families Commission was charged with co-ordinating the development of new parenting education and relationship counselling programmes.

“I welcome today’s announcement as the achievement of that goal,” Mr Dunne said.

Speaking at the launch of the two-year programme, Mr Dunne said that parenting was the most important but often most undervalued role adults perform.

“I am extremely concerned that two-thirds of those surveyed by the Families Commission felt that the government, employers and society placed insufficient value on the importance of parenting.

“We have to turn that around, and become much more active in our support and recognition of all the factors that make for good parenting, rather than indulge in political cheap shots and stunts, or extreme positions, on single issues.

“All parents matter, no matter their circumstances, and all parents and families count equally as the building blocks of society.

“If you buy a car or a household appliance, it will come with not only a warranty, but also a full set of operating instructions, and detailed after sales service provisions.

“But become a parent and you are on your own - there is no after sales service programme, or warranty period – you are assumed to know it all.

“And if you dare ask for help or advice, then our caring society comes down on top of you as though you are the problem, you are the one who cannot cope, and you are the one failing as a parent,” Mr Dunne said.

Mr Dunne congratulated the Families Commission on this new programme.

“The challenge now is to all those, political parties included, who profess a concern for parents and families to show by backing this initiative to give greater recognition and value to the role of parenting today,” Mr Dunne said.


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