“The government’s new-found (and I think genuine) interest in the plight of vulnerable children and dysfunctional families is welcome. Putting children and families at the centre of policy making has been key UnitedFuture policy for years. It was one of the main reasons why we established the Families Commission (now known as Superu) in 2004 during our confidence and supply agreement with the previous Labour Government, and why we have pushed so strongly for its retention since then. Indeed, it is pleasing that much of the work on which the government’s new policy approach has been based has been built on the data collected by the Commission over the years.
“A key goal for UnitedFuture, from the day it was launched, has always been to make New Zealand the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family, and to ensure, where we can, that every child gets the best start in life. The sad reality is that in so many cases that does not happen, but while children have no control over the circumstances they are born into, they have an inalienable right to the love and affection of both their parents. We know strong and vibrant families are the building blocks of a strong and vibrant country, which sits well with UnitedFuture’s goal of enabling current and future generations of New Zealanders to be able to thrive, no matter who they are or where they come from. So the current direction being rolled out by the government is extremely exciting for us. It will be our role now to both work with them to achieve that, but also to keep them honest as they do so, in the interests of the families and children of New Zealand.
“Sadly, this area has been bedeviled by petty politics for too long – with more and more children suffering in the crossfire. It is time to stop, and make real progress. But change cannot occur in a vacuum. It is not just a matter of ticking off key objectives as they are achieved. There needs to be a real commitment to looking forward to the benefits to the country as a whole, and that is the perspective UnitedFuture brings to this debate. For this party, politics has never been about just an election year scorecard (although our record of achievement has been better than any other government support party over the years) but much more about the contribution politics can make to building a better society. That remains our challenge, and I invite your renewed support as we continue on that journey.”
Peter Dunne, MP for Ohariu and UnitedFuture Party Leader