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Call for Minister of Families

 


MEDIA RELEASE
11 September 2008

Call for Minister of Families

Family First NZ is calling for a Minister of Families to be appointed to the Cabinet of the next government.

“It is time that families were given the status they deserve,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “Governments have tinkered with Families Commissions and a Children’s Commissioner, both which have been unable to, or have failed to, represent the concerns and needs of families.”

“A Minister of Families at the Cabinet table will be party to all decisions made which affect families. Commissions are simply a way of saying “we acknowledge you but we’re not going to give you too much authority or input.”

“We currently have Cabinet Ministers for disabled, senior citizens, youth, Maori, veterans, women’s affairs – even the rugby world cup. It’s time we stopped paying lip service to our most important asset – strong families.”

Family First is rejecting calls by the Every Child Counts conference for a children’s minister.

“It is well-intentioned, but you cannot deal with issues affecting children without seeing them in the context of the family they are being raised in.”

“Obesity experts acknowledge the role of parents in modeling appropriate diet and being the ‘gatekeepers of the family food supply’. Child abuse reports all show that family structure and parental lifestyle are huge contributors to the risk of a child being physically, mentally or sexually abused. And poverty research shows that the greatest determinant of whether a child is exposed to poverty is the income level, lifestyle and spending patterns of the child’s parents.”

“In other words, every family counts,” says Mr McCoskrie.


“It’s time the government put families at the head table.”

 

ENDS

 

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