Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


We Care Social Awareness Campaign

We Care Social Awareness Campaign

If you were to explain the concept of ‘care’ to someone who had English as a second language, it would no doubt create confusion.

It could imply the practice of care as a noun – such as healthcare, or childcare.

It might denote that sense of responsibility associated with the duty of care – like a child in the care of the state; or in your care.

Or it might be care as in the verb to care, to look after, to be concerned about someone’s wellbeing.

Today, at this launch of the We Care social awareness campaign, we embrace all of these meanings as we celebrate the capacity to care that all of us are able to give and all of us are entitled to receive.

I am so pleased to be part of this very special event which pays tribute to the selfless hard work and relentless dedication that is associated with the caring role.

Some of you in this room may be gardeners. For those who are not, let me share with you a little secret.

There is no such thing as a green thumb.

There are gardeners who care – whose gardens reflect the quality of care they are exposed to. That care might extend to some pretty unorthodox approaches – gardening under moonlight; with mood music; with teabags or potato peelings as fertiliser….but whatever it is, the quality of care is immediately observable by the vibrancy and the strength of the plants.

Today we are talking about a different garden – the garden of humanity.

Our human garden is full of diversity. As everyone here can attest to, carers come from all walks of life.

Some of you might be caring for a friend or family member who is elderly, ill, disabled or has a mental illness.

You might have been caring for someone for a short time or you may have been caring for someone for many years.

You may have become a carer suddenly, or your role may have increased over time as the needs of your loved one have become greater.

And the caring role itself is as varied as it is the same.

Caring can range from helping someone with basic everyday tasks such as shopping or cleaning, to around the clock commitment.

And of course life doesn’t stop to allow you to take a break and immerse yourself in caring for another. Carers are often juggling your caring responsibilities with other work and family commitments.

In the last fortnight, I have had the most deeply affecting personal experience of caring, as collectively, as a whanau, we helped to support my brother following a sudden heart attack and cardiac arrest.

As we sat with him in ICU, I was reminded of the power of prayer; the miracle of faith, and the potential that optimism and positive thinking can bring.

It made me think about those words from Abraham Lincoln: "I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go." What carers do, is to help us rise again, to be restored in our faith, to hold out hope for another day.

But of course, caring is rarely a temporary activity.

Caring requires long hours of commitment, hard work and sacrifices that may be made without even being noticed – and you all know that.

The role of caring can test even the most compassionate of us – it can be exhausting, frustrating, agonising and bring the most intense set of emotions to the fore.

The “We Care!” social awareness campaign is about giving carers the recognition that you need and deserve. It is about making people across New Zealand more aware about the issues you face everyday.

Today is an important day to acknowledge the more than 420,000 New Zealanders who every day care for family and friends, at what has been estimated as accruing an annual economic cost of more than seven billion dollars.

Your work is integral to the fabric of our communities and underpins family life in this nation.

From whānau, friends and neighbours, to co-workers, employers and decision-makers – today is an opportunity to bring greater awareness to your roles, so that you can be better supported and we can work together as a society, to keep supporting those who are vulnerable.

I am also thrilled to bring with me today, a very special message from the Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key.

He sent me a message to read out, and it said:

Carers play a vital role by supporting people in their daily lives and helping them to stay connected to their family and community. It is very important that the rest of New Zealand – and indeed all of my parliamentary colleagues understand and appreciate the work that you do everyday.

I want to thank you for everything you do, that makes this country the wonderful caring place it is.

I absolutely agree with the Prime Minister and I want to acknowledge the fantastic work that Carers New Zealand and the New Zealand Carers Alliance carry out to advance the interests of carers and their families.

I am also pleased today to be able to launch an updated version of “A Guide for Carers: He Aratohu ma nga Kaitiaki”, on support and services available to you in your caring role.

A range of government agencies provide services and support for carers and the person they care for. However it can be difficult to navigate the system to find out what help is available or even where to find help.

The original guide was a single, practical and accessible resource about all government support available to carers. It was widely distributed and I received very positive feedback on it.

However, like every budding gardener, I think we always knew we could improve upon this first effort.

So over 370 people took time out from their busy lives to respond to our online survey. We also gathered some feedback from non-government organisations.

Their feedback has highlighted the sort of information that carers most need – namely financial help; help at home; respite care; information on needs assessment; transport and travel, and what your rights are.

Carers New Zealand, the Ministry of Social Development and other government agencies have worked together to update the guide so that it continues to meet your needs.

I will be really interested to hear how you find it, and I hope it provides a level of support to help every carer in the vital work you do and face everyday.

Finally, I want to acknowledge your initiative in instigating the “We Care!” campaign to share your stories.

I am committed to working with Carers NZ, the NZ Carers Alliance, and whānau to progress actions under the NZ Carers’ Strategy, so that carers are well supported to carry out their caring roles, and that they can provide care in a sustainable manner.

We want to make sure that you are valued and well supported.

Today is a fantastic opportunity to take time to recognise and celebrate the important role you play as carers. I am proud to stand here, on behalf of Government, and to mihi to you all for the incredible personal sacrifice and the huge generosity of spirit each of you demonstrates in supporting those who are most vulnerable.

Thank you for caring; for supporting others; for keeping life flowing. Our garden is all the more beautiful; all the more resilient; and all the more dynamic because of you.

Tena tatou katoa.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Welfare Reform Has No Champions In Parliament

Ever since Victorian times, the unemployed have been a problem for those more fortunate, wealthy and powerful. Down the ages, society has been torn between providing for them as victims of misfortune, or dealing to them as the shiftless agents of their own condition. Either way, the poor are commonly regarded as The Other – as a group of outsiders gathered pitifully, reproachfully, or (depending on your POV) threateningly at the gates of polite society.... More>>


National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>


Lockdown Rules: Timeline For Moving To Level 1 Needed

The BusinessNZ Network is calling for more clarity about the conditions under which businesses can move to Covid level 1. The network is concerned about large numbers of businesses that are at risk of closure if restrictions continue at the current ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>


Covid-19 Response: Law Setting Up Legal Framework For Covid-19 Alert Level 2 Passes

The law establishing a legal framework for the response to Covid-19 has passed its final reading and will become law in time for the move to Alert Level 2 tonight.
This is a bespoke Act designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19... More>>


ACT: Parliament Quits MP Cut Pay Debate To Go Home Early

“In an outrageous move, Parliament has today passed voluntary MP pay cuts and avoided any debate over whether to make them compulsory and transparent”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.... More>>


Trans-Tasman Bubble: PMs Jacinda And Morrison Announce Plans

Australia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP have announced... More>>


Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>


The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>


Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>


Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>


Govt: Concern At Introduction Of National Security Legislation For Hong Kong
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong... More>>






InfoPages News Channels