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Commissioner for Children Bill Welcomed

Media Release Hon Roger McClay Commissioner for Children 29 August 2001

"Commissioner for Children Bill Welcomed"

"The Commissioner for Children Bill introduced in Parliament today is very welcome indeed," said Roger McClay, Commissioner for Children.

"This is a bold statement by Government and New Zealand society that we value our children," he said.

New Zealand can be proud that it is amongst the first Nations in the world to actually include the text of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child with a major piece of legislation. By way of this legislation the Office of the Commissioner for Children will be able to, even more easily, enhance protection, provision and participation for New Zealand children. By way of the articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child New Zealand society can deliver a better life for all children.

"I feel privileged as Commissioner for Children to be given the responsibility of bringing about a greater awareness of this Convention, advancing it and monitoring the implementation of it by a variety of government and non government agencies. It is a mature step to accept that our children and young people should have the ability to participate in the decisions that are made which concern them. We should give due weight to what children feel about their society and their lives.

The new legislation also puts beyond all doubt that the Office of the Commissioner for Children is an independent body. I give my assurance that I will use this new legislation to speak plainly on behalf of our children many of whom cannot speak for themselves," concluded Mr McClay.

Office of the Commissioner for Children Level 12, 86-90 Lambton Quay PO Box 5610 Lambton Quay WELLINGTON

phone: 4711 410 phone fax: 4711 418 fax

email: children@occ.org.nz email

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