Last week, a group led by Judge Carolyn and Sir Mark Solomon launched a Covenant for Children, to focus on ensuring that every child in New Zealand is treasured and respected, and has the opportunity to enjoy a good life. About 60,000 children are born in New Zealand each year, and nearly a quarter of our population – just over 1.1 million people – is aged under 18 years. Nearly 70% of our children are raised in two-parent households, and about 18% are living in sole-parent environments.
Ensuring that, no matter their origins or circumstances, every child has the chance to get the best start in life has long been core UnitedFuture policy, because that leads to healthy communities and wider society, as well as protecting the future of our country. It is why we have always been a future-focused party, looking to develop and promote solutions today to the issues we see arising tomorrow and beyond. While no child can choose the circumstances of their upbringing, we assert strongly that every child has the right to the best start in life, and we see the Covenant for Children as an important step forward in placing children and their concerns at the heart of policy making.
Our forthcoming board elections and annual general meeting are an important opportunity to refresh and focus the party as we head towards another election year. I encourage you to take part in the process, whether by standing for the board, or attending the annual meeting, or voting for the board and President. Also, we will be soon be announcing some candidates for the Auckland local body elections in October. I would welcome your support for them and their Auckland programme. They will also be promoting future-focused solutions for Auckland’s key issues.
Our deputy leader, Judy Turner, will also be seeking re-election to the Whakatane District Council and local district health board, to continue the excellent work she has been doing for her local community. And, over the next few months, we will be making a series of policy announcements, setting out UnitedFuture’s position on the key issues as we approach the general election next year. A lot is happening right now, and there has never been a better time to be involved!
Hon. Peter Dunne, Leader UnitedFuture New Zealand