Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has told a Pacific Leaders Fono that the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki will respond to the needs of Pacific children and young people in care or at risk of going into care.
Mrs Tolley told the Fono in Porirua that the new operating model will be culturally responsive and will better support Pacific children and young people.
Sweeping reforms to our laws will build a better system for combatting abuse and will reduce harm, says Justice Minister Amy Adams and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley.
The Government is proposing a broad overhaul of changes to family violence legislation, stemming from the comprehensive review of the 20-year old Domestic Violence Act.
“New Zealand’s rate of family violence is horrendous. It has a devastating impact on individuals and communities, and a profound impact that can span generations and lifetimes,” Ms Adams says.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley will this week lead a delegation to Geneva to discuss New Zealand’s Fifth Periodic Report under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC).
The treaty, ratified by New Zealand in 1993 and which includes a total of 195 countries, requires states to report to UNCROC every five years on the progress being made on children’s rights, while identifying areas which need further work.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says New Zealand’s first child sex offender register will soon get under way, following the passing of enabling legislation.
The Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Government Agency Registration) Bill has passed its third reading in Parliament, with the register set to commence 30 days after Royal assent is granted.
“Children deserve to be kept safe from harm, which is why we are going to be more proactive in managing the risk of reoffending from child sex offenders,” says Mrs Tolley.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says MSD’s latest Household Incomes Report shows that the majority of households have experienced strong real income growth in recent years, and that New Zealand has experienced a stronger recovery than many OECD countries since the Global Financial Crisis.
The Household Incomes Report uses data from the 2014 and early 2015 period, and is released today alongside a companion report using non-income measures.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says that seven and a half million breakfasts have been served in schools around the country since the Government expanded the KickStart Breakfast programme in 2013.
“With more than 125,862 breakfasts served every week in 870 decile 1-10 schools, we can be sure these students are getting the best start to their school day,” Mrs Tolley says.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says a new trial for beneficiaries with mental health conditions will start next month and will work with clients to support them into work.
“Just over half of all clients receiving a main benefit have a health condition, injury or disability so it’s important that we work effectively with them to find the right support so they can move into long term independence,” Mrs Tolley says.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says that a new child-centred, stand-alone ministry with a new Chief Executive is to be established to focus on the care and protection of vulnerable children and young people.
The Government will provide $500,000 over two years for short-term emergency housing to ensure perpetrators of family violence can be safely kept away from victims at a time of crisis.
Budget 2016 funding will provide emergency housing in Christchurch and Waikato, where the new Integrated Safety Response pilot is being trialled. The ISR pilot aims to ensure families experiencing family violence are safe and receive the services they need to prevent further harm.
Ministers today confirmed Waikato would be the second site for the Integrated Safety Response pilot.
The pilot, also being run in Christchurch, brings together different agencies involved in family violence to support victims and their families in a daily safety assessment approach.
The Government is seeking input into a new Risk Assessment and Management Framework designed to keep victims safer, Ministers have announced.
The framework proposes a better, more consistent way to assess and manage the risks of family violence so victims can get the help they need, whoever they turn to.
“This Government wants to do what we can to ensure that New Zealanders are protected from family violence. We know that properly and consistently identifying risk and intervening earlier is critical to achieving this,” says Justice Minister Amy Adams.