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26 September 2018
The Office of the Children’s Commissioner received global recognition when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke about the Office’s work in her speech to the 9th Annual Social Good Summit in New York earlier this week.
As keynote speaker for the summit, hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of viewing the government’s work “through the lens of children”.
“I was struck by the work of our Children’s Commissioner recently,” Prime Minister Ardern said in her speech.
“We are working on a child well-being strategy in New Zealand, and as part of this work, his Office went out to children and young people and asked them what their expectations were of us.
“I read some of their responses, and I can tell you that they were pretty frank and forthright,” the Prime Minister said.
Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft welcomes the spotlight given to the work being done by his Office.
“It’s fantastic to see the positive steps we are taking as a country are being acknowledged on the world stage,” the Commissioner says.
“Undeniably, we have dropped the ball for the last 30 years when it comes to child wellbeing, so it’s absolutely imperative that we prioritise transformative and enduring child-focused policy,” he says.
The Prime Minister stressed the importance of hearing the views of children and young people in her speech.
“Children see their well-being as intrinsically linked to the well-being of those around them,” she said.
“It was heart breaking for me to read the comments from children, who even at a young age were choosing not to ask their parents whether they could learn a musical instrument or join a sports team because they knew the cost would be too much.
“When children asked us to do something about these issues, they didn’t temper their feedback. They wanted us to be bold. And so that is what we are doing.”
The Children’s Commissioner noted that his Office is continuing to engage with children and young people to support the development of the Prime Minister’s Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, and that he will share their views and voices as the work progresses.