Groups help develop Child Wellbeing Strategy

The Government has today begun discussions with groups who work with, and support, children and their families as the first step in developing a Child Wellbeing Strategy to improve children’s lives.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Children’s Minister Tracey Martin met with people from a range of community groups at a forum in Wellington designed to share their ideas and help shape an agenda for working together on children’s wellbeing.

“The Coalition Government is focussed on making the changes needed to help New Zealand become the best place in the world to be a child,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“More than 384,000 families with children will be better off by an average of $75 as a result of our Families Package, the first stage of which begins on July 1. But income is only part of the solution.

“As part of the Child Poverty Reduction Bill the Government will develop a Child Wellbeing Strategy that outlines how children’s overall wellbeing will be improved.

“For this strategy to work, it must be shaped by the interests and aspirations of children and their families, rather than what politicians want.

“Today we’ve begun the crucial process of listening to children and young people and those with a stake in their lives to begin developing the strategy

Tracey Martin said the Child Wellbeing Strategy would be based around safety, security, connectedness, wellness and development. “It is the practical things behind these words that matter. Children need to be safe, loved, healthy and educated if they are going to live well.

“Over the next couple of months, officials will continue to seek input from groups, like those we are meeting with today, before beginning a broader public engagement process in the second half of the year.

“We want the strategy to be ambitious and to drive change, not just across government but also for those who work with and support children and their families. For it to be successful, we all have to understand and commit to the goal – another reason these conversations are so important,” Tracey Martin said.

The aim is to publish an initial version of the strategy next year.