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

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system.

To all intents and purposes, access by New Zealanders to the Privy Council has now been closed. Yet the number of times in recent years when the Privy Council has quashed the findings of New Zealand courts has demonstrated that we are regularly
(a) jailing the wrong person or
(b) arriving at guilty verdicts on grounds sufficiently flawed as to raise serious doubts that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news