Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

MP's Asked To Put Children First

MEDIA RELEASE

18 December 2002

Wellington

MP's asked to put politics aside and put children first

A cross-party Parliamentary Children's Caucus was called for in Wellington today (subs: Wednesday 18 December 2002) at a 200-strong gathering of Members of Parliament and representatives of organisations working with children, who were asked to join the newly-formed Littlies Lobby.

Plunket's New Zealand President, Mrs Pam Murray asked Members of Parliament to put aside their political differences and come together to establish a cross-party Parliamentary Children's Caucus.

"There is no doubt that policy-making around children could benefit from a more coordinated and less political approach. Such a Caucus exists in the House of Commons in England and New Zealand children also need and deserve this level of attention and recognition.

"Children need to be put first at all times and not just at Christmas," said Mrs Murray.

She said the Children's Caucus would probably meet quarterly and be briefed on current issues by specialists on children's rights and needs and would also provide the opportunity for policy initiatives and legislation impacting on children to be discussed.

The Littlies Lobby also announced at Parliament today, is the brainchild of the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society and the Office of the Commissioner for Children.


The lobby aims to draw attention to what parents, families, communities and central and local government can and should do to give children the chance to thrive. It will also ensure that children are ready to start school by the time they are five years old.

Commissioner for Children, Roger McClay, implored adults to consider the lobby's six key messages and the implications of all they did when making decisions on behalf of children.

"The minute a baby is born, it has an absolute right to be cared for, to be loved, to be respected and to have food, clothing and shelter. It also has a right for its little brain to grow, develop and learn.

"We intend to speak-out on behalf of the littlies and to articulate what they themselves would want to say if they were able. It's just as important for their voice to be heard as it is for us to hear the voices of industry, commerce, trade unions or environmentalists.

"There are many organisations, agencies and individuals doing wonderful work on behalf of children. We invite them to join us in the Littlies Lobby and help remind New Zealanders of the rights and needs of the youngest in our society," Roger McClay said.

Plunket's Chief Executive, Mr Paul Baigent, describes the lead-up to Christmas as a highly appropriate time to be launching the lobby.

"Christmas is a time for celebration when children are most in our minds; a time when we do put children first. Our aim is to ensure they still come first when the Christmas decorations have been taken down," he said.

"There's a large body of evidence from across the world pointing to the crucial role of the first few years in determining whether we reach our full potential as individuals. A child's early experiences, parenting and environment have a huge impact on their physical, emotional and intellectual development.

"We also know that it's getting harder for parents to provide children with the care and attention they need. Work pressures, changes in family structures and the pressures placed on families by poverty are all impacting on our children. It really is time to ask ourselves as a country, are we doing the best we can for them?" Mr Baigent added.

Television host and mum, Maggie Barry and Norm Hewitt, Ambassador/Representative for the Office of the Commissioner for Children, joined Mr McClay, Mr Baigent and Mrs Murray in launching the Littlies Lobby.

The lobby's theme song "Ray of Hope", composed and performed on CD and music video by Neil Finn, was played at the event and the lobby's website was demonstrated.

Regional launches for the Littlies Lobby will take place in Christchurch later today and in Dunedin on Thursday 19 December.

Ends
Released by Joanne Ruscoe, Ruscoe Public Relations
email: Joanne@rpr.co.nz


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>

 

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election