All children in Aotearoa New Zealand deserve the best possible start in life.

Children should be prioritised in all relevant government actions

  • Children and young people's rights, needs, and interests must be prioritised at all levels of political and government planning and policy-making.
  • Children and young people from diverse ethnic groups and communities should be involved in the development of plans and strategies that affect them.
  • The Minister for Children should be a senior Cabinet minister.
  • High quality, accessible, and free public healthcare and education form the basis of a good life for children. This includes antenatal and early childhood care.
  • Every child should live in a warm, dry, safe, and secure home.

The Government has responsibilities to all children in Aotearoa New Zealand

  • Child poverty should be comprehensively measured and frequently reported on, and this data should inform targets and a government strategy to reduce child poverty.
  • Government strategy should be in place to protect children from all forms of violence, abuse, and neglect.
  • The state should provide support for people leaving out of home care until they are 25.
  • No child should be incarcerated and youth justice services should apply up to the age of 18.

Children do well when their families are doing well

  • The minimum wage should be raised (see the Green Party’s [industrial relations] policy).
  • All families should receive a universal child payment in the first part of every child’s life (see the Green Party’s [income support] policy).
  • Family assistance payments, such as Working for Families, should not be tied to employment status.
  • Benefit levels should be increased to ensure they are sufficient to meet families’ needs.

Communities should enable children to live safe and fulfilling lives

  • Children and young people should have access to safe public spaces and a wide range of affordable indoor and outdoor activities, sports, music, artistic and cultural activities.
  • Healthy and safe food should be available in schools.
  • Tamariki and rangatahi have the right to be respected as tangata whenua and to the implementation of their collective whānau, hapū, and iwi rights under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • Government should work with Pacific peoples to develop robust policies that secure the rights of Pacific children in the context of family, church, and culture.

Workplaces should be family-friendly

  • Parental leave should be increased to 13 months and parents should be able to negotiate flexible working arrangements with their employers.
  • Workplaces and public spaces should be child-friendly, including providing facilities for mothers to breast feed.

 

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