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Care of children is a community responsibility

Care of children is a community-wide responsibility Pakeha should look at the Maori model of whanau for answers.

"Upholding the rights of children is a family responsibility," Parents Centre New Zealand CEO, Viv Gurrey said. "Parents need the support of the extended family/whanau if they are to successfully raise their children to be healthy and loved individuals."

" The Maori model of family is about generational care and responsibility. Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles play a significant role in the welfare and care of tamariki/children. In contrast, the pakeha model of family is nuclear and insular. Many pakeha families drift apart as brothers and sisters move away, and increasingly grandparents move to live on family nest eggs in retirement towns."

"The truth about parenting is that it can be a very difficult job. This is even more true when circumstances like family separation add to the difficulty and hardship. The best we can do is develop a culture of family care and support."

"Good parenting is a life-long learning process best achieved within supportive communities in which families/whanau are encouraged to develop parenting skills. Good parenting is difficult to achieve in isolation," Mrs Gurrey said.

"Parents Centres NZ is dedicated to the provision of quality parent education to all parents because all parents benefit from parent education and support networks. When families break-up or are simply not supportive there is an even greater need for education and support."

Parents Centre presents a submission on the Care of Children Bill to the Justice and Electoral Reform Select Committee today (Thursday 30 October at 1735hrs).

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