Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


A Glimmer of Hope - Tariana Turia speech on Child Poverty

Hon Tariana Turia
Associate Minister of Health

11 December 2012

A Glimmer of Hope - The report of the Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty

Delivered at 1pm at the Beehive Theatrette

Yesterday we were full of anger.

Yesterday we were full of despair.

The Te Ohonga Ake report told us absolutely definitively that each year 120 New Zealand children die of poverty.

It told us that this year, 120 children will not wake up on Christmas morning: because they are dead.

That is three buses full of children – gone.

Three ghost buses of Maori, Pasifika, Pakeha and Asian children driven over a cliff of disinterest, neglect, abuse and mere poverty.

In a country that exports food to the world, some children are so malnourished that they succumb to entirely preventable diseases.

In a country that prides itself on being a great place to raise children, some children are beaten to death, some children are neglected to death, some children are simply unloved to death.

So if you ask, are we angry? Aren’t you?

If you ask, do we despair? Don’t you?

But, today, today there is a glimmer of hope.

The report of the Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty is that glimmer of hope.

It says quite simply that we can do something about this slaughter of the innocents.

That’s the most important thing it says: that we can do something, as Jonathan Boston says, “if we’re serious about substantially reducing child poverty rates”.

If.

If we’re serious.

That is the challenge that lies before us. All of us.

Because this is not, fundamentally, a Government problem.

This is not a Maori problem, or a Pasifika problem, or a pakeha problem.

This is a human problem, a moral challenge. This is our problem – each and every one of us.

It is the responsibility, first and foremost, of every parent and every caregiver, to use every ounce of their beings to look after the children in their care.

It is the responsibility of all whanau and all neighbours, to look in, and step in, to help and to protect.

It is the responsibility of the medical profession, to overcome every economic and cultural barrier to treat our children with all the skill and technology at their command.

It is the responsibility of the teachers and schools, the churches and the activists, to campaign against complacency.

It is the responsibility of the media, to keep this paramount issue front and centre every day and not be distracted by celebrities and sports and shallow scandal.

It is the responsibility of politicians of all stripes to be deadly serious about substantially reducing child poverty rates.

It is the responsibility of all of us, because there is more than enough blame to go around everyone in this country – to go around all of us not just once, but twice, thrice and more: one hundred and twenty times more.

It is way past time that we simply said with one voice: Enough.

That we simply recognise that caring for every child is everybody’s responsibility.

Are we angry? Yes.

Do we despair? Today, just a little bit less, because there is a glimmer of hope.

Our responsibility – all of us – is to take that glimmer, and turn it into a bonfire of action.

The time of words is over. The time of action is here.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: It is easy to know what we don’t want to commemorate on Anzac Day this year...

In fact, is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli?

Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915.

(Most of the New Zealand survivors were transferred to the trenches in France, and eventually to the battle of the Somme in 1916.) More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Peter Ellis Case: Minister Declines Request For Commission Of Inquiry

Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Peter Ellis for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that an inquiry cannot be used to determine the liability of any person. More>>

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

GCSB's China Shopping: Key Damages China Relationship

Evidence that the Key Government recklessly approved a GCSB spying operation to intercept Chinese diplomatic communications between offices in Auckland will pointlessly damage our relationship with China, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable. So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news