Lack of commitment to Auckland's children worrying

Published: Thu 1 Apr 2010 03:31 PM
Children’s Commissioner concerned by lack of commitment to make Auckland a great place for children
Children’s Commissioner, Dr John Angus, continues his call for local government to make Auckland a great place for children.
“To date, there has been no indication of how the ‘Supercity’ will represent the interests of children and young people on the Auckland Council and Local Boards”, said Dr John Angus.
“Now is the time for decision makers to commit to building the interests, rights and well being of children and young people, and their voice, into the new processes and structures.
“This will see Auckland recognised on the international stage as a city that supports and nurtures its youthful, multicultural and diverse population, as a great place for children.
“Specifically, I have made three recommendations to the Auckland Governance Legislation Committee and to the Auckland Transition Agency. “The first is the establishment of a Chief Advisor – Children and Young People in the Mayoral Office to ensure that children and young people’s interests are given weight.
“Secondly I have recommended the establishment of a Social Policy and Strategy Unit.
“The Unit would as one of its priorities work with central government agencies and the Social Forum to produce a regular State of the City’s Children Report that would give the Council and Local Boards a picture of children and young people’s wellbeing. This could be used to inform planning processes, monitor progress and increase awareness among the community and policy makers.
“My third recommendation is that a Child and Young People’s Unit be established within the Community Development Team of the Council. The Unit would co-ordinate and monitor a Child and Youth Strategy and Action Plan, setting real and achievable targets in relation to the full range of economic, social, cultural and civil and political rights for children.
In its report, the Royal Commission stated that ‘every citizen must have the opportunity not only to reach their potential and to lead a fulfilling life, but also to contribute to Auckland’s growth and prosperity’.
I am concerned that to date neither the previous Bill, the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 or the work of the Auckland Transition Agency make any explicit provisions for the proposed Auckland Council and Local Boards to take account of the wellbeing of children and young people,” said Dr Angus.

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