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‘Buddy’ is coming to Parliament on Wednesday

‘Buddy’ is coming to Parliament on Wednesday

It is my understanding that tomorrow, a Waikato-based MP will be bringing a life-size cardboard cut-out of a child with them to Parliament. I just wanted to provide some basic information to the Press Gallery in case you see this MP and wonder what this is all about.

The city of Hamilton, along with the communities of Ngaruawahia and Huntly, are coming together on Friday to put on an event called ‘Buddy Day.’ This is an event aimed at raising the awareness of child abuse in the Waikato. Supported by national child abuse prevention organisation, Child Matters, it is our hope that Buddy Day will evolve into a national child abuse prevention awareness day in years to come.

There are a total of 180 ‘Buddies’ (the cut-outs), which represent 10% (1800) of the substantiated child abuse cases in the Waikato last year. These Buddies have spent the last week with childcare centres, schools and community groups where they have been clothed, given a face, given a name and a story. Each of the 180 Buddies (the cut-outs all dressed and decorated) will be ‘adopted’ by a Caregiver for the entire day on Friday, 18 November. The Caregivers will take their Buddy with them wherever they go (business meetings, out for a coffee, lunch) – with the aim being to open up conversations about the issue of child abuse in our community and how ‘it takes a community’ to look after our children.

At 5pm on Friday, all 180 Buddies will gather together in Garden Place, Hamilton (central city). Here they will stand together as a stunning visual reminder of the issue of child abuse in our community – and throughout New Zealand – and our city’s commitment to making a difference.

So...that’s a bit about Buddy Day. So, if you see ‘Buddy’ tomorrow wandering around Parliament, say hi and give him your support!

You can also follow our event on Friday on our Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/BuddyDayNZ.


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