Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill and Vulnerable Chil..
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Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill and Vulnerable Chil..


oh the eyes heaven I call on government orders of the day numbers three and four children young persons and their families are our tamariki legislation bill third reading vulnerable children amendment bill third reading mr. speaker the Honorable Anne Tolley Mr Speaker I move that the children young persons and their families or our tamariki legislation bill and the vulnerable children amendment bill be now read a third time I am so pleased to be here as the Minister for children to move the third reading of this bill it marks a significant step and what has been and will continue to be a considerable journey to transform the way we care for and protect our most vulnerable children and young people in April 2016 I released the Independent Expert panel’s report on the state of our care and protection and youth justice system the report made it very clear that the system was supposed to protect our most vulnerable children and young people was broken it made a clear case for change and it proposed a bold set of recommendations the government responded to these recommendations by agreeing to major reform this legislation is the second significant piece of legislation in this reform and it represents the biggest change to the children young persons and their families act 1989 in its nearly 30-year history right throughout this journey I’ve made it clear I didn’t want to adult political agendas to dictate the shape of this legislation these are changes that affect our children and young people which means it’s their voices and their experiences we must listen to if we’re going to get this right to the members of our youth advisory panel many of whom were here yesterday for the Committee of the Whole House and these supporters I want to thank them for their contribution to this legislation I thank them for every story they bravely shared and I thank them for every piece of feedback they’ve given me their voices have been and continue to be central to the changes we are making and they’ve been invaluable in helping me understand what more we can do to provide all children with safe stable and loving homes and I always said preferably with their own family as I said in the house last week I made a promise to this country’s children and young people that their voices would be cemented into legislation and that their safety and best interests would be at the heart of everything we do that’s exactly what this legislation will achieve this legislation seeks to provide the foundations for a child centered care and protection and youth justice system and will support the core services of the ministry for vulnerable children for our tamariki these changes signal a significant shift from responding to a crisis to a much greater emphasis on prevention early intervention in transition support to independence we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us over the next four to five years if we’re to deliver lasting in significant change for our most vulnerable children and young people but this legislation undeniably represents a major milestone to provide the foundation for the chart new child centered system that revitalizes in purp the purposes and principles of the Act to embed a truly charged sentient approach being child centered is about elevating the status of children’s interests rights well-being and views it’s about listening to them and putting their need for safety stability and support at the center of all decisions and actions everyone agrees a child safety must come first but this doesn’t need to be at the exclusion of wider farno who are able to provide a safe stable and loving home during the progress of the legislation I have engaged widely with community groups NGOs and II we right across the country to ensure the legislation clearly articulates this we know no child exists in isolation which is why the legislation highlights the concepts of mana Tamati vaca Papa and Ferno Gitana these concepts acknowledge that all children have their own intrinsic value and that they are part of a wider group children are not only part of their own immediate family but also the wider family group their community their culture and their Papa together these help give children an identity a place and a sense of belonging and because of this the slick legislation recognizes the need to strengthen families to care for their children we know that 6 out of 10 children and care are Maori and young Maori are over-represented in the youth justice system this legislation specifically seeks to improve outcomes for Maori it places a set of duties on the chief executive to give a practical commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi including an obligation to seek to developed strategic partnerships with E we and Maori organisations and it requires regular public reporting on how well we’re improving these outcomes for young Maori this legislation also enhances support for young people to transition to independence we know appearance role doesn’t end the day a young person to 18 as parents we stick around to give our children the advice and support they need as they start to make their way in the world and the state needs to do the same that’s why this legislation will allow young people to remain with or return to a caregiver up to the age of 21 with the possibility of receiving additional advice and assistance up to the age of 25 the legislation creates an information sharing framework to enable timely and appropriate exchange of information about vulnerable children to promote their safety and well-being for years those working to protect children have told us that a major barrier to keeping them safe is the lack of an active and consistent approach to information sharing between agencies and professionals within strong safeguards this framework will allow information to flow as required to those who need it when they need it so we can keep children safe from harm this legislation also improves support for young people at risk of offending or reoffending significantly it includes 17 year olds in the youth justice system but makes it clear that those charged with serious and repetitive offences are to be dealt with in adult courts it’s a change I’m very proud of we know from the evidence that this will set these young people on a better path long term while also resists reducing risk and harm and our communities this legislation also changes the name of the children young persons in the family act 1989 to the Ourang at America act 1989 it’s a change that reflects the Esper ations we hold for New Zealand’s most vulnerable children and one which which recognizes that their well being invoiced must be at the center of all we do if I’ve said time and time again these legislative changes are just one part of the government’s response through strategic partnering at and force informed practice framework wider engagement with communities and better support for families farno and caregivers we will build on these changes so we can establish a truly child centered system ultimately this is what is needed to help ensure our most vulnerable children and young people have the best chance to have happy and healthy childhoods develop a sense of belonging and identity and grow into flourishing adults I would like to acknowledge the Social Services Committee for its consideration of this legislation the changes that has recommended have greatly improved its clarity I also want to thank the many individuals organizations and E we who made written and oral submissions on the legislation it’s always encouraging to hear how passionate New Zealanders are about making a difference in the lives of our children and young people and I sincerely believe the changes in this legislation will help make that difference but Mr Speaker as I conclude today I want to once again thank those young people who have been involved in this journey it’s been nearly two years since I was sitting in my office talking to our first panel of young people who gave up their time to me and the panel and the expert panel are firsthand insight into our care system I remember them telling me this is happening to us it’s our lives but no one ever asks what we want or is what what is best for me to them to the current youth advisory panel members and to the members of voice along oh my thank you I hereby commend the children young persons and their families or on our tamariki legislation bill and the vulnerable children amendment bill to the house the question is that the motion be agreed to camera all civilized speaker it is with

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