24 October 2001 Media Statement
Children’s Day highlights child protection challenges
Children’s Day 2001 this Sunday highlights significant child protection challenges for New Zealanders, says Social
Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey.
Speaking at a pre-Children’s Day picnic attended by Prime Minister Helen Clark at Parliament today, Steve Maharey said
the main aim of Sunday’s national event is that children should be celebrated, nurtured and treasured by all. However he
noted that there had been high-profile cases of child abuse in recent years, along with many other cases that had not
come to public attention.
“Investing in children now pays dividends for the future of us all. Tragically too many young New Zealanders are missing
out on getting the love and support they should be able to expect as a basic human right.
“As a nation we face a series of challenges:
- to strengthen our cultural and our societal beliefs and the way we practice them to underpin child safety and
- to foster a sense in our communities that everyone is responsible and has a part to play in child protection and
making our children’s lives happy; and,
- to build community and social networks that make for environments where child abuse is less able to exist.”
“The answer to meeting these challenges lies in educating individuals to take responsibility for ending abuse, combined
with the strength of everyone working together to attack the problem.
“I encourage everyone to spend some time this Sunday with the children who mean most to them and to think about we can
all contribute to making New Zealand the best country in the world again to be a kid,” Steve Maharey said.
Steve Maharey said he would be attending a Children’s Day event at the Lower North Youth Justice Centre in Palmerston
North this Sunday.
To find out more about Children’s Day events in local areas visit www.childrensday.org.nz on the internet.