Media Release 21 May 2011
Family First NZ is rejecting Labour’s call for a Minister for Children saying that the concept is well-intended but flawed because it fails to recognize the essential and fundamental role of parents. Family First is calling for a Minister for Families to replace the Families and Children’s Commissions.
“Governments have tinkered with Families Commissions and a Children’s Commissioner, both which have been unable to, or have failed to, fully represent the concerns and needs of families,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Labour’s call fails to acknowledge that families and children are not mutually exclusive. The best way to support children is to make sure that the families raising them are strong, stable, and supported.”
“Children’s interests are best served in the context of their own family. Government support for children must be through their families, not apart from families. Any office or structure which even appears to separate children from their parents and families will be counter-productive in the long run – that’s why the office of the Children’s Commissioner has never gained the traction or respect it has wanted.”
“Labour seems to be confused by only wanting to scrap the Families Commission yet is willing to double up on a Minister for Children and a Children’s Commissioner.”
“We do agree with Labour that we currently have Cabinet Ministers for disabled, senior citizens, youth, Maori, veterans, women’s affairs – even the rugby world cup. It’s time we stopped paying lip service to our most important asset – strong families raising great kids,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“It’s time the government put families at the head table. Children will simply be the natural benefactors.”