Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


More to be done to improve outlook for children

Government response to Health Select Committee inquiry shows there is more to be done

UNICEF NZ says the Government’s response to the Health Select Committee Inquiry into improving child health outcomes and preventing child abuse with a focus from preconception until three years of age points to some important Government work with a focus on children, relying heavily on a few selected policy initiatives such as Better Public Service Targets and the Vulnerable Children’s Action Plan.

“The Government has done well to accept or partially accept a number of the recommendations made by the Health Select Committee and we are pleased to see this. The response points to a number of important initiatives currently underway with a focus on children but we are concerned that there seems to be a heavy reliance on a few selected programmes when the issues require a multi-faceted response,” said UNICEF NZ National Advocacy Manager, Deborah Morris-Travers.

“The Health Select Committee has drawn on some of the best evidence possible to develop a range of comprehensive recommendations designed to improve child health and prevent child abuse. They point to the fact that achieving success for our children requires leadership and coordination, very early investment and intervention, improvements in the systems that support the health and wellbeing of parents-to-be and new parents, and social and economic circumstances that ensure an adequate standard of living for families with children.

“We know that the Government is investing in a range of important initiatives, but we are concerned that these are relatively limited in scope and will not improve the health and wellbeing of all of the children who need additional support. The Vulnerable Children’s Action Plan, for example, is focused on just 10-20,000 children, with a limited perspective on vulnerability and very little that will prevent children becoming vulnerable in the first place. UNICEF and others have consistently advocated for a universal action plan for children.

“The Health Select Committee has recommended extending the Better Public Service targets to establish an overall plan for addressing child poverty and set targets. The Government has accepted that recommendation in part, implying that current efforts to improve education and employment are an adequate response to the 285,000 children living in poverty.

“UNICEF urges the government to be aspirational and build on current efforts with a particular focus on Maori and Pasifika children as well as those living in homes were the primary income is a benefit. Children in poverty are vulnerable to abuse and neglect, as well as a host of infectious diseases, reduced participation in education and being marginalised within their community.

“One of the key themes in the Health Select Committee report relates to the evidence base and establishing government objectives that respond to that evidence. Comprehensive data that is internationally comparable, as well as full transparency about Government investment in children, and accountability, are necessary parts of improving outcomes for children. We are pleased that the Government is working to build this and improve the data sets that enable evaluation of current policy. We hope that this will be expanded over time.

“The Health Select Committee inquiry has made a valuable contribution to understanding about what is needed to improve life for children. Sitting alongside the Experts Advisory Group Solutions to Child Poverty and numerous other reports from both government and non-government agencies, Ministers have received hundreds of recommendations for action in recent years. We hope they will be bold about taking those recommendations forward and investing more in children with the knowledge that there is widespread public support for them doing so,” said Ms Morris-Travers.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis.

The victim’s families and the victim have requested that their privacy be respected and will not be making a statement at this time.

Police have formed a picture of what has occurred yesterday and are appealing for further information and sightings .... More

 

Parliament Today:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news