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Ministry for Vulnerable Children name change welcomed

Ministry for Vulnerable Children name change welcomed

George Ngatai QSM is backing a name change for the Ministry for Vulnerable Children.

I was informed yesterday that the new Government was planning to drop the word 'vulnerable' from the ministry's name. Incoming Minister for Children Tracey Martin later confirmed the change was coming, tweeting: "I have just been sworn in as the Minister for Children. Not Vulnerable but all children."
George who is a White Ribbon Ambassador, the Director for The Whanau Ora Community Clinic Medical Centre and also the Co-Chair of Safer Aotearoa Family Violence Prevention Network (SAFVPN) was one of many organisations who criticized the ministry's name last year, opting like many to call it by its Māori name - Oranga Tamariki - which translates as 'the wellbeing of our children'.

"We said at the time that calling some children 'vulnerable' risked labelling and stigmatising the group who needed the most help, and creating a distance between the community and those trying to help," George Ngatai said.

Many people including some ministry staff said that the name was inappropriate and the fact the incoming Minister for Children made one minor change to the name is a huge thing for our whanau and our organisations who work with children.

"I understand that the re-branding hasn't necessarily been completed across the country and so there is still time to update with this new name.

Obviously Oranga Tamariki and Ministry for Social Development websites still used the word 'vulnerable' so it may take a little while yet.

I'm also pleased that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has taken responsibility for the Ministry for Child Poverty Reduction and another Auckland based MP Carmel Sepuloni is responsible for the Ministry of Social Development.

This name change comes on the eve of the start of the White Ribbon Campaign Awards Dinner which has acknowledged individuals and organisations who promote the reduction of Family and Domestic Violence towards women and children for the past four years.

The month long campaign ends with White Ribbon supporting a "We Stand because We Care" march organised on Saturday 25 November 2017 the international day of White Ribbon starting at the Fort Street end of Queens Street and ending at Meyers Park.


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