October 15, 2012
Families’ ministry could address children’s needs
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is rejecting the idea of a children’s ministry, saying policies need to address the whole family.
Mrs Turia is the Associate Social Development Minister and is backing the White Paper on Vulnerable Children released by Minister Paula Bennett.
The paper proposes a national database of at risk children so professional and teachers can share information.
Mrs Turia, who is also the minister responsible for whanau ora, says children can’t be seen separately from their families.
“Children are vulnerable because they have got vulnerable families. If we are going to have a focus it should be a ministry for families and that should include the Families Commission, Youth Affairs, probably Women’s Affairs. All of these population-based ministries could come into the ambit of families (ministry) and all of the policies should be integrated and linked together,” she says.
Mrs Turia says she is not accepting the argument that the white paper failed to address poverty, because that is a separate issue to whether people are abusing children.