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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

National Party Conference: Plans To Nudge Immigrants Towards Regions

The Government will introduce a package of immigration measures aimed at improving the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Relieved Of Control At Mt Eden Prison, Retains Contract

Multi-national private prison operator Serco has been forced to hand back control of Auckland's Mt Eden remand prison to the Department of Corrections, which has used a 'step-in' clause in its contract with Serco following a string of increasingly serious allegations about contraband, prisoner injuries and a death. More>>

ALSO:

Other Experiments: Failing Charter School Stays Open 'For Kids'

Education Minister Hekia Parata says she has given Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Northland a chance to continue operating because of her concerns about finding other educational opportunities for its students. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news