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Minister to receive children's submissions on Green Paper

Media release from Barnardos NZ

Minister to receive children's submissions on the Green Paper

Social Development Minister, Hon Paula Bennett, will visit 0800 What’s Up – the nation’s largest dedicated child helpline – to receive about 1300 submissions made by children as part of the consultation on the Green Paper on Vulnerable Children.

Barnardos has provided an opportunity for children to have their say on the Green Paper when they ring 0800 What’s Up by asking a set of questions and making provision for children to share their ideas with a counsellor or in a recorded message.

“It is important for children to have an opportunity to share their ideas about matters affecting them. They often have great ideas and we need to hear them in the context of significant public debates such as the Green Paper. We hope the submissions will make a useful contribution to the government’s thinking on ways to improve life for New Zealand children,” said Mike Munnelly, Barnardos General Manager of Child and Family Services.

The consultation with children asked the following questions:

1. Do you think New Zealand needs to do more to support children, young people and families?

2. Where do families get their best and most important support from?

3. Do you think the government should have a Children’s Action Plan that helps make sure children are healthy; safe; loved and cared for; and do well at school?

And finally, if you would like to tell us your ideas on how adults can help children live better lives you can leave us a recorded message.

A sample of quotes from children is attached.

0800 What’s Up (0800 942 8787) is a vital service for children and young people providing free, confidential, professional telephone counselling for five to 18 year olds. The helpline is available from 12 noon to 12 midnight 365 days per year, and receives up to 500,000 calls from children each year.

ENDS

Consultation on the Green Paper

A sample of the quotes from children recorded on 0800 What’s Up

“I think the government should do more to help children to have better lives, because we are the next generation, and if we don’t look after the next generation then we won’t have any people.”

“I think that adults should encourage their children more, so that their children develop, then they learn, so when they grow up they become qualified, and then become the government themselves.”

“Kids should get school lunches or school fruit.”

“I think that the government should honestly pay more attention to children, because the children are the future of NZ basically, and if the children of NZ are not getting treated as they should, obviously in the future then they won’t be how you want them. If we don’t have a plan of action for them when they are young they will just grow up and not be the people you want them to be. Should be better to have a plan of action for when they grow up, not for when they get older, cause they will be thinking why didn’t I know this when I was younger? Drinking should be made illegal, cannabis should be illegal.”

“The government should help special needs kids so they can be treated in NZ.”

“I think that What’s Up is really awesome and good for doing this sort of thing, I think it’s really cool that the first Sunday of March we have a children’s day and that’s pretty awesome.”

“My message is that the government should put the prices down on things like food and living supplies, and fruit and vegetables so that we can all live healthier lives, and put the costs down of school fees so that we can all have a good education not just the rich.”

“I think that all kids should have support and know that someone is always there for them, and they shouldn’t feel bad about themselves, and have a good career, and don’t think about what other people say about them personally. You are who you are.”

“Um I think that adults should take off time from their work and um spend time with their kids more, and that, and take them out and that, that’s how I think adults should be.”

“Adults should stop drinking.”

“I think that the government should give us money because my family is really poor and I don’t get much money and it’s really hard. I have to find shoes from the warehouse for $2 and they hurt my feet, and the little toes are really sore, and I need money to get shoes cause my shoes are really small, and I barely get new shoes cause we are a bit poor of money.”

“No smoking please.”

“My idea for helping young children out is that in every single town or suburb there should be a place or somewhere where kids can go if they are ever in need of help. Maybe there could be counsellors and stuff like that. Anyway, laters.”

“Adults should love their children more.”

“I think that there should be a club that the government opens up that has programs like art and reading and immersion programmes and stuff that helps kids learn. This will make children learn better, like 3-7pm after school and all day in the holidays.”

“I think parents / adults should do more activities for children in the community and get more counsellors in schools.”

“Parents need to accept their children’s sexuality if they are homosexual, and not be prejudiced against them.”

“I think that you should maybe make better homes for kids.”

“I think parents should be nicer to their kids and not bash us”

“I reckon that the adults should communicate more with their kids, and communicate more at home, so they can take care of themselves and do well at school and stuff like that.”

“I think that people need to make donations to kids that they are need, and help them with whatever they want, as in food, money and other stuff too.”

“I think that adults can help by not smacking us.”

“I think adults should be more um interactive with kids, and there should be more community activities to get the whole family involved, and there should be activities at school that involve the whole family, and lots of interaction.”

“I think that adults should not have to worry about money or anything and should just be able to play with their kids, and be able to just not stress, so they have more time to play with their kids.”

“The bus drivers are really mean, and they should be nice. The bus rides should be free, because they are so expensive. The bus rides in America are free. So it’s not really very fair.”

“No scaring kids that’s what I think, no one should scare kids or hit kids or anything like that, no one should yell, hit, no violence or anything like that, and for animals – no violence for animals either, and if they do they should ring the cops, and CYFS can take them away.”

“We should make a future plan for our children, when they are born the parents should put money away for future education and the government should help fund that.”


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