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A Time For Family – Families Day 15 May

A Time For Family – Families Day 15 May

Most people would agree the family is the foundation of our society but we do not stop and celebrate it as often as we should. Today however is the exception for it is Families Day and in time it should be as important as Mother’s or Father’s Day according to the Families Commission.

Chief Commissioner, Rajen Prasad says, “We want every New Zealander to recognise Families Day for what it is – a day to celebrate being part of a family. It doesn’t matter if you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or child – you can do something special for others in your family today.”

International Day of Families was established by the United Nations General Assembly to promote the importance of and awareness around issues relating to the family as part of society.

The theme set by the United Nations for 2008 is Fathers and Families: Responsibilities and Challenges. This is a theme the Commission has already raised as needing greater focus in New Zealand.

Fathers told the Commission last year via the online members poll The Couch that being a father was a great job but many were still finding it increasingly difficult to balance the demands of work and family despite wanting to spend more time with their children, wife or partner.

The Commission today launched another Couch poll aimed at fathers asking them about the kinds of support that are available to dads, what support they are receiving and where extra support could be helpful.

Tomorrow (16 May) the Families Commission, Barnardos and Parent Centre will bring together over 50 men from around New Zealand for a Fathering Conversation forum to discuss issues around fathering. Key issues raised at the meeting will help feed into the Commission’s ongoing work on fathering.

“Families Day is a perfect opportunity for all of New Zealand to stop and think about what being part of a family means and to see what they can do to make things even better. Whether it’s better flexible work arrangements in a workplace, better access to support and information when it’s needed or even just helping each other with the household chores so there is more family time available it is all important to help make family life less stressful and more enjoyable.”

It is the Commission’s hope that progressively Families Day will be more widely known and celebrated in a significant way by a growing number of New Zealanders. Already a number of activities that are specifically planned are identified on the Commission’s website and they are as varied as a father’s morning tea with a farming theme in Porangahau to a Pied Piper Parade hoping to attract 300 to 500 children in Gisborne.


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