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.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news