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Celebrating Waitangi Day

5 February 2008

Media Release:

Celebrating Waitangi Day - shaping New Zealand to be good for all of us!

Waitangi Day presents an opportunity for all sectors of our society to reflect on some of the issues central to our national success and identity, says Barnardos New Zealand Chief Executive Murray Edridge.

“Our national day should cause us to reflect on what we can do to positively shape our nation for the future and at the top of that list must be how we nurture, educate, and include all children in our families and communities,” said Mr Edridge.

“While much of the conversation on Waitangi Day centres on our history, the important relationships between Māori and non-Māori, and what kind of nation we want for the future; how we treat our children will determine whether that future is achieved.

“If we leave children on the margins, let them live in poverty, and perpetuate a belief that it’s okay to use emotional and physical violence in our parenting, we undermine that collective future. Those advocating for a constitutional right to hit their children are undermining the security of children and of this nation.

“For Aotearoa New Zealand to thrive we need our children to thrive. And our children need to live in positive, loving, environments free from the threat of violence.

It’s as simple as that,” said Murray Edridge.


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