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Parenting Week Launch By Mayor

The importance of quality parenting will be the focus of Parenting Week 2000 next month.

Christchurch's Mayor Garry Moore says quality parenting is so important and he will launch the special week on Thursday 10 August in the Mayor's Lounge at the Civic Office, Tuam Street, at 1.30pm. Mr Moore said recently: "I often say that parenting is where we all start out hoping to be like the Waltons and end up feeling like the Simpsons. "Let's face it, parenting can be one of the most puzzling aspects of life on Earth." Parenting Week 2000 from 4-10 September is core funded by the Children's Advocacy Office of the Christchurch City Council with other funding coming from Christchurch businesses. The week aims to bring the Christchurch community together to raise awareness of parenting, to educate, to encourage and celebrate parenting. The organiser, Astrid Andersen of The Events Company, says it will be the first event of its kind and has attracted more than 90 events demonstrating an overwhelming response from the community. She says the week will be about community mobilisation, sharing a vision, engaging people, addressing needs, and celebrating families. It aims to involve all sectors of the community focusing on supporting parents in their role. The City Council's Children's Advocate, Lyn Campbell, says children are the country's taonga - our treasure. "The quality of our living in the future is dependent upon the investment we make in families today," she says. She says it is not easy being a parent and schools, community groups and social agencies often raise the issue of parenting. "There are widespread concerns about the pressures parents are facing in bringing up children and the multiplying effects which our community faces when families become dysfunctional," Mrs Campbell says. Parenting Week offers Christchurch the chance to show that parents are not alone in their task. "It is about raising awareness as to what resources are available for parents. It is also about enabling parents and families to be able to fulfil their roles more effectively." Events over the week will range from neighbourhood-based activities to large-scale seminars. There will be open days and exhibitions. Schools are staging special events and there will be writing and art exhibitions. Shopping malls will have displays and the Parenting With Confidence organisation will run school programmes and hold three public seminars. Walks and recreational events will also take place and there will be one especially for fathers.

Further information: Astrid Andersen: 377 7704 or 025 944 429 or Liz Ellington: 371 1962.

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