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National Parenting Forum

National Parenting Forum

Saturday 15th of September sees the commencement of the National Parenting Forum at Te Papa in Wellington. The Forum will be opened by the Hon. Hekia Parata, Minister of Education and the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs and Viv Gurrey, Chief Executive Officer of Parents Centres New Zealand Inc.

Hon. Hekia Parata says, “I would like to congratulate Parents Centre on their 60 years of advocating for parents and whanau in New Zealand. The principles which underpinned the organisation’s establishment in 1952 are just as important now – strong families and whanau are necessary for a strong society. Parents are the first teachers of their children, and parenting is a lifelong commitment. I look forward to opening the Forum.’’

Viv Gurrey, Chief Executive Officer, Parents Centres New Zealand Inc says “The National Parenting Forum was inaugurated six years ago by Parents Centres to bring those working in the essential area of early intervention in the parenting sector together and run as a biennial event at Te Papa. The Forum provides an independent opportunity for debate, planning, action and of course valuable professional development for those delivering crucial support services and education to New Zealand parents”.

Says Gurrey, “The conference theme reflects how parenting can make a quantum difference to society. Today New Zealand continues to face massive intergenerational parenting issues many of which contribute hugely to our unacceptable child abuse statistics. Parent education and support is needed now more than ever to build resilient families and whanau. It takes courage and determination to tackle the difficult issues that are at the core of the stability of families and fundamental to the wellbeing of children and their parents.”

After the official opening on Saturday morning a Forum Panel will discuss issues around “Making a Quantum Difference—the next decade for children”. The panel will include a number of forward thinkers and doers in the sector who are currently making a quantum difference.

This year’s Forum also sees Parents Centres celebrating their 60th birthday. “The organisation was founded in Wellington in 1952 by determined individuals who believed that maternity care was over-medicalised and that many aspects of society offered parents little personal responsibility for their parenting journey. Parents Centre remains true to its original vision today,” says Gurrey.

The Forum gala dinner on Saturday 15th September will celebrate the significant achievements of Parents Centre over 6 decades and the valuable contributions of volunteers around the country.


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