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Wellington City Council candidate, Malcolm Aitken, today pledged his commitment to the Tick for Kids campaign.
The campaign is being run by the Every Child Counts Coalition, made up of Barnardos, Plunket, UNICEF, Save the Children and Mana Ririki, organisations working hard to protect and enhance New Zealand children’s well-being.
“For council candidates, Tick for Kids is about supporting minimum standards for our children regarding their basic rights and considering and involving them in policy making,” said Mr Aitken, who is the Labour candidate in the Onslow-Western Ward.
“Every council and DHB candidate in Wellington who believes children deserve the protections and minimum standards in this charter should sign up to it. Let’s all get behind organisations like these.
“To anyone who asks ‘but should local government be involved in policy on, for example, child poverty?’ I reply ‘local government, like central government, has a responsibility to contribute to tackling our appalling rates of child poverty and deprivation in New Zealand. Asking whether local government should be involved is missing the point.’ These issues need action. Now.
“We’re putting the reckless pursuit of profit in some cases and a host of other excuses ahead of dealing with child poverty and I know many Wellingtonians among others have had enough. Everyone who can, needs to act, in the absence of any real effort from a number of key decision makers.
“I call upon everyone who’s running for a council or a DHB in the Wellington region to make a stand.”
The commitments I have made are below
1. Ensuring your Council monitors and evaluates all policies to ensure the interests of children and young people are put to the forefront.
2. Advocating your town or city become an accredited ‘Child Friendly City’
3. Working to support every child’s right to a standard of living that meets their needs by reducing health, education and income disparities in your town or city. A good starting point is commitment to the principle of becoming a Living Wage city.
4. Increasing your Council investment in children and young people – particularly in the early years - and ensuring spending on them is equitable (relative to other age groups) and effective.
5. Working to ensure all children in your town or city have affordable and healthy
housing, by improving the provision of housing that meets minimum health and safety requirements.
6. Building support for quality education within your community, including advocating for the right of every child to have a qualified and registered teacher.
7. Supporting local community-led planning and policy development that includes
Children’s voices in order to build healthy, connected communities and effective support for children and their parents.
8. Ensure the provision of accessible recreation and cultural facilities for all children.
9. Ensure that children have a range of transport options (whether that be by public
transport, pedestrian or by bike) that meet their needs and are affordable, sustainable and safe.
10. Providing a child-friendly workplace for all Council staff.