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Children’s interests should be at centre stage

Media Release
10 September 2008

Children’s interests should be at centre of decision-making, says Children’s Commissioner

Children’s Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro said today she supports Every Child Counts’ call for children’s interests to be at the centre of government decision-making.

“One of the key roles of my office is to ensure the voices of children and young people are heard when policies or laws that affect them are made or changed,” Dr Kiro said.

“When you think that our children are New Zealand’s future workers, parents and leaders, that’s most policy and law.

“The children and young people we talk to and the office’s Young People’s Reference Group (made up of 10 young people from around New Zealand) have valid opinions and concerns about the environment, education and the planet we are leaving for them. Children have an inherent right to inclusion, dignity and respect.

“The health, safety and well-being of our children are too important to politicise. For this reason my office support’s Every Child Counts’ call for a cross-party caucus that puts the welfare of children at the centre of decision-making.

“The recent report on child poverty released by my office in August highlighted that while 130,000 children have been lifted out of poverty in recent years, New Zealand still has a way to go. The report cited 170,000 to 230,000 New Zealand children still living in unacceptable poverty.”


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