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Children's Policy Summary

Holly Walker MP
Holly Walker MP
holly [dot] walker [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)

Read the full Children's Policy

Let's give our children the best possible start in life.

Let's keep our children safe and guarantee them the essentials - like a warm, dry home, food to grow healthy and strong, and a quality education - we guarantee their opportunities for life.

The first step to supporting all kids is to help every family cope financially and give all parents the chance to spend time with their children.

When we protect our environment we give our children a safe place to grow and to play.

Key Principles

  • Good antenatal and early childhood care provide the best start in life.

  • Parents and family need to be able to provide emotional and material support to develop self confidence and self-esteem.
  • Parents are first teachers but education from early childhood on should assist each child to make the most of their own natural abilities.
  • All children deserve to be treated with consideration and fairness.

Specific Policy Points

Giving every child the best possible start in life

  • Introduce a Consumer Price Index-adjusted Universal Child Benefit ($18.40 for the first child and $13.00 for each subsequent child).

  • Extend paid parental leave to a total of 13 months paid leave.
  • Make the first $10,000 of everyone's income tax-free.
  • Work towards setting benefit amounts at a level that is sufficient for all basic needs.
  • Work towards full employment that provides a decent income.

Making sure that parents can spend time with their children

  • Work towards a shorter working week.

  • Support the right of parents with young children to work flexible hours which meet family needs.

Creating a safe, nurturing, non-violent environment for children.

  • Oppose the reversion of Section 59 of the Crimes Act to pre 2007 status.

  • Promote non-violent positive parenting, and education.
  • Support early, pre-school intervention programmes working with children at risk.
  • Work towards making it safe for children to explore the world outside the front gate, firstly by reducing the speed and volume of motorized traffic.

Supporting quality television programming for children.

  • Prohibit commercial advertisements during pre-school and school age children's television.

  • Require TVNZ, as the publicly owned broadcaster, to take a lead in screening locally produced children's television programmes.

Improving childhood health

  • Work towards free healthcare for all children, including dental care.

  • Encourage breastfeeding as the ideal nutrition for babies.
  • Work with Maori and all other ethnic and cultural groups to ensure that their children are able to access culturally appropriate care and treatment.
  • Create drier, warmer, well-insulated homes through an expanded household energy efficiency program.
  • Reduce respiratory diseases in children by reducing pollution from vehicles.
  • Ensure nutrition, cooking and gardening are taught in all schools.
  • Amend National Educational Goals to ensure that only healthy food and drink is sold in schools.

(See health policy for full details)

Adoption

  • Protect the right of every young person to their name, nationality, and preservation of identity.

  • Ensure that legislation relating to adoption meets the national and international Human and Children's Rights laws.

Creating a safe, natural environment for children to learn and play in.

  • Ensure beaches, rivers and streams are clean and safe for children to swim and play.

  • Create marine reserves and mainland sanctuaries near towns and cities so that children can enjoy their natural heritage.
  • Make sure children have access to parks, playgrounds and other challenging activities.

Supporting quality and appropriate services to children and families in need

  • Create an integrated framework to monitor the development of every child and young person through co-ordinated assessments at key life stages.

Ensuring the interests of children are protected and promoted.

  • Adequately resource Office of the Children's Commissioner

  • Ensure that programmes for children are based on helping children to develop strengths.
  • Amend the Education Act to require school boards to consult with pupils, including pupil representation on secondary school boards.

Special protection areas: Rangatahi, Pacific peoples and Child Refugees

  • Establish effective systems for the development and co-ordination of services for tamariki and rangatahi Maori.

  • Work with Pacific peoples to develop robust policies that secure the rights of Pacific children in the context of family, church and culture and work.
  • Involve children of different ethnic groups and communities in the development of plans and strategies.
  • Oppose the incarceration of child immigrants.
  • Ensure refugee and asylum seeker children enjoy equal rights with New Zealand children
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