Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Making Aotearoa / New Zealand The Best Place To Be A Child

In the third of Judge Andrew Becroft’s five addresses reflecting on his time as Children’s Commissioner, he examines five ways we can significantly improve wellbeing for children and young people in Aotearoa / New Zealand.
“We are fortunate”, the Commissioner says. “The Government has developed a visionary, comprehensive and world leading Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. Our challenge is to see this strategy implemented and it’s vision turned into flesh.”
“While some of the changes that will necessary for this to happen will make demands of us, achieving them would make this country the best place in the world to be a child”, Commissioner Becroft says. “Some of these issues have been long standing. Others, such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, have found us during my tenure as Commissioner.”
“If we were to take the issues I raise to heart, and respond to them positively, our country would have some striking characteristics:

• “We will overcome child and family poverty. Consequently, children will have greater equity of opportunity. Māori, Pacific, and disabled children will have more chance to thrive as part of an inclusive, respectful national community. The challenge here is clear. We must grasp the nettle and invest in ensuring neither Aotearoa’s children nor their families experience material hardship.

• “We will have an education system that enables children to develop their fullest potential. This will mean our schools will be safe places for students. Our schools will demonstrate cultures that promote respect for all their students and their whānau, and have no place for bullying. They will be environments that encourage aspiration.

• “All children will have access to the support they need to enjoy mental wellbeing. Youth mental health and wellbeing is emerging as one of the great issues our time. Governments will be seen to take this need seriously. Their commitment will be demonstrated by their funding of effective and appropriate services, and ensuring access to them.

• “Children’s views and concerns will be sought out. They will be listened to, valued, and factored into decision-making.

• “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder will be recognised and children with learning needs will be not be classed as problems. Instead they will be cherished and welcomed for their diversity and the different perspectives they bring.

• “Racism will be named and acknowledged whenever it appears. And being named, we will be committed to eradicating it. Children and young people will be freed from carrying its debilitating weight.
“This could all sound like a pipe dream. But it is possible. The challenge to us is to turn that possibility into a reality. In doing so we will be keeping the promise we should be making to all children in Aotearoa / New Zealand: that genuine wellbeing is to be part of the life we enjoy together.”

Judge Andrew Becroft’s role as Commissioner concludes on October 31. The new Children’s Commissioner will be Judge Frances Eivers. Her term begins on November 1.
Commissioner Becroft’s address will be given at 2.00pm today at the University of Canterbury. His speech notes are attached below.
Commissioner Becroft’s next address in the series, “Child Poverty – Much talk, but enough action?” will be live-streamed at 2.00pm on Wednesday, October 27.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Dubious Wisdom Of Raising Interest Rates

During the last half of the 1990s, the first flickering signs of economic growth would cause then-Reserve Bank governor Don Brash to hike up interest rates and stamp them out. The fear back then was that if left unchecked, the embers of economic activity might cause the same inflationary fires to come roaring back to life that the West had experienced in the late 1970s. At the time, Brash would justify raising interest rates on the grounds that as RB governor, he always needed to be looking 18 months ahead, and judging where things might go by then, if he didn’t act now... More>>


Public Service Association: Data Shows Worrying Disparities
Eighty four percent of public servants are strongly motivated to stay working in the Public Service because their work contributes positively to society - and yet only 69 percent are satisfied with their job... More>>

Luxon: A New National For New Zealand
National Party Leader Christopher Luxon has today announced a new National for New Zealand – a fresh, energised alternative government ready to deliver for Kiwis in 2023... More>>

Cancer Society: Hopes Final Pharmac Report Is Stronger

Today the delayed Interim Report was released by the Pharmac Review Panel. The performance of Pharmac and access to cancer drugs is a major concern for the Cancer Society... More>>

CPAG: Govt Yet To Fully Implement A Single Key WEAG Recommendation Three Years On
None of the 42 key recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) have been fully implemented almost three years after the report release, with 22 minimally or partially implemented, new research by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has found... More>>

CPAG: Child Poverty Monitor 2021 Highlights Persistent Inequities In Rates Of Child Poverty
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) welcomes the release of the Child Poverty Monitor today, which shows that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, poverty reduction targets were largely on track for Pākehā children, however significant inequities remained for tamariki Māori, Pacific and disabled children... More>>

National Party: Bridges Appointed Finance & Infrastructure Spokesperson

Hon Simon Bridges is the National Party’s new Finance and Infrastructure spokesperson, National Leader Christopher Luxon announced today. “Simon has prodigious skills, incredible talent and the intellectual heft needed to excel as National’s Finance spokesperson,” Mr Luxon says.... More>>




InfoPages News Channels