Monday 1 July 2002
Labour Plans Parents Council To Promote Positive Parenting
The skills parents need to be succesful in a very demanding society are to be central to Labour’s policies if it is
returned to government.
Speaking at a UNICEF forum on family violence and children’s issues at the Auckland University of Technology this
afternoon, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said that the government would be talking with current
providers of parenting programmes prior to establishing a Parenting Council to work on future investments in the skills
that parents need and to spell out what children can expect from their parents.
“The Parenting Council will have a role in promoting the importance of parenting to the future of New Zealand.”
Steve Maharey stressed that the government would not be taking a judgemental stance on parenting and families.
“Questions of family size and structure are for people to decide for themselves. However children should be able to
expect a commitment from their mother and their father throughout their childhood whether they live together or apart.
“The argument about parenting and families often descends into blaming people for what are perceived to be their faults
as parents. Our approach is simply to say that parenting is vital if children are going to grow up to be dependable
“Parenting is also vital to children being able to take up the challenge of further education and succesful employment.
“In short, successful parenting is crucial to the overall strategy of creating an innovative society. We can’t expect
young people to grow up with aspirations and dreams, and be ready to part of the kind of society that we are creating,
if they come from neglectful or abusive homes where parents simply do not know what to do.
“We want to get that message across and promote the skills parents will need to bring up children in a very challenging
“No one is saying parenting is easy – it is not. That’s why we want to ensure that we provide positive support for
parents right throughout the country,” Steve Maharey said.