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Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy an essential platform

29 August 2019

Barnardos says first Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy an essential platform for creating significant change for children and young people

Leading New Zealand children’s charity Barnardos says that the New Zealand Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy – the first of its kind – is an essential platform for creating significant change for children and young people.

Barnardos Chief Executive Mike Munnelly is welcoming the Strategy that was launched today.

“Barnardos’ vision is ‘An Aotearoa where every child shines bright’. We work every day, all around Aotearoa with children, young people and their families and whānau, to support this vision in practice. Because of this, we know the realities of children and young people’s lives, and while most are doing well, a significant proportion are not, impacted by problems like family poverty and income inequality, violence and abuse, poor mental health, and a lack of the basics like safe and healthy housing. This is particularly true for many tamariki and rangatahi Māori and Pacific children and young people, whose outcomes are not what they should be”, Mr Munnelly says.

Barnardos says that the new Strategy is important because it shows government is aspirational for children and young people’s wellbeing.

Mike Munnelly says that “we can and must do better for children and young people in our country, and this Strategy is a powerful acknowledgment of that. Barnardos is very pleased to see the commitments in the Strategy to all children and young people in Aotearoa being loved, safe and nurtured, having what they need, being happy and healthy, learning and developing, being accepted, respected and connected, and involved and empowered. It is positive that the Strategy places a particular focus on the wellbeing of children and young people who are the most marginalised and disadvantaged, as we know that change is urgently needed for them.”

Barnardos believes that it is imperative that the Strategy leads to real, positive and lasting change in the every day lives of children and young people, and of their families and whānau.

“We are clear that the Strategy alone will not lead to the change required. To be effective, it needs to be underpinned by robust and effective policies and continued ‘well-being’ focussed investment like that begun in the Government’s recent budget”, says Mr Munnelly.

Barnardos has been pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to influencing and shaping the Strategy and its underpinning legislation. Mike Munnelly says that “the Strategy provides a significant platform for action – we look forward to seeing it implemented and to being able to contribute in whatever way we can, working with government and others to support this to happen. Our children and young people deserve nothing less”.


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