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Cross-parliamentary work the way forward

Media release 9am, 11 September 2008

Cross-parliamentary work the way forward for NZ kids says UK expert

Cross-parliamentary initiatives provide powerful advocacy for children, Baroness Doreen Massey told the Every Child Counts* annual conference in Wellington today.

Baroness Massey chairs the House of Lords cross-parliamentary working group on children in the United Kingdom.

"The rights and needs of children and young people transcend the boundaries of political parties. When politicians and sectoral leaders put political interests to one side and focus on the needs of children, we see real progress." The All Party Group which Baroness Massey chairs meets once a month. Apart from politicians the group includes leaders from the voluntary sector.

“We operate as a sounding board and have proved most useful during the passage of legislation that affects children and young people.”

Baroness Massey met with the Hon Ruth Dyson and other politicians yesterday to talk about cross-party work for children.

“We are thrilled to have Baroness Massey in New Zealand,” said Deborah Travers-Morris, Project Manager for Every Child Counts.

“We have already started discussions a cross-parliamentary group for New Zealand, and we are keen to engage with Baroness Massey and learn from her experience.”

“We are talking to MPs about how we can best co-ordinate our efforts to address issues like child poverty and family violence.”

“The response from all parties has been extremely positive, and I believe we will see something formal develop within the near future.”


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