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Children’s Commissioner says change is needed


21 June 2019


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Peter Faoese and Kelsey Brown from the Office of the Children's Commissioner.

The recent MYSTORY Summit provided the opportunity for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner to present the findings of the report ‘What Makes a Good Life?’, released earlier in the year.

Peter Faoese and Kelsey Brown from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner spoke about the key insights the Office has gained from children and young people about what wellbeing means to them.

“We heard from more than 6,000 children and young people about what a good life is and what they thought were the most important areas to focus on to make things better for all children and young people,” says Kelsey.

“From what we heard, a significant number of children and young people face challenges.”

“We have asked children and young people for their views based on their everyday experiences and hopes for the future.”

“From our findings, we have identified four key themes. Change is needed, Family and whānau are crucial, providing the basics is important, but not enough on its own, and that children and young people have valuable insights.”

Following the presentation, Judge Andrew Becroft addressed the Summit audience in his keynote speech, where we spoke about the importance of listening to children and young people’s stories.

Judge Becroft says the views of young people are critically important to responding to their needs, wants and aspirations. “Supporting children and young people needs a focus on more than just what services are needed. We need to accept children and young people for who they are, respect their space and support the people they care about.”

Associate Minister of Education Hon Jenny Salesa applauded the work by the Children’s Commissioner, which captured the voices and stories of over 6,000 children and young people. These stories were used to develop the ‘What makes a good life?’ report which is instrumental in formulating future youth focussed strategies and provides an insight into how your shared stories can create a call to action.

The Children’s Commissioner undertook this research with the purpose of contributing to the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, designed to drive government action on child wellbeing, but could also be used to inform practitioners and communities who want to make a difference for children and young people.

Download the full report here

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