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Families Commission Welcomes UnitedFuture/National agreement

05 December 2011

Families Commission Welcomes United Future / National confidence and supply agreement

The Families Commission welcomes today’s announcement of its inclusion in the confidence and supply agreement between United Future and the National-led Government.

Chief Commissioner Carl Davidson says: “We especially welcome the expressed desire in the agreement for the Commission to, ‘really improve the lives of New Zealand families’, and moves to improve the Commission’s role to ‘protect families’ interests in the legislative and policy process.’“

Mr Davidson says the Commission believes that any move to ensure the voices of families are heard in Government circles is good for whānau families and New Zealand.

“The Commission has already moved a long way toward the type of organisation Mr Dunne says he wants it to be,” Mr Davidson says. “As a result of a review of our operations in the past year, the Commission has become more focussed on providing high quality, in-depth research and knowledge to Government to represent families’ interests at policy and legislation levels.

“We have also strengthened our evaluation and research functions to inform quality and effective service delivery for families and whānau.”

A proposal in the confidence and supply agreement for a Families Status Report to measure how New Zealand families are getting on is also welcomed as being consistent with the Commission’s role.

“We also welcome,” Mr Davidson says, “a commitment to parenting education programmes and relationship education in schools. The Commission has on several occasions called for education to focus more on empowering young people to have the relationship skills they need to enter into adulthood successfully.”

Mr Davison says the Commission cannot comment on the proposal to reduce the number of Commissioners as that is a political decision that may require a change in the Families Commission Act. He notes that under the current Government, the number of Commissioners has already been reduced from seven to four.

ENDS

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