GUEST BLOG: Jackie Foster – CHILDRENS COMMISSIONER, A ROLE THAT IS SO IMPORTANT

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Jackie Foster

As I sat and read an article the other day, written by the children’s commissioner, it reminded me just how important her role is in the community and for the tamariki of Aotearoa. 

The commissioner’s article was written to mark the 30th anniversary of Aotearoa ratifying the UN Convention on the rights of children. 

The Convention sets out the rights of all children aged 0-18, without exceptions, and the responsibilities of governments to ensure those rights. In Aotearoa New Zealand, we consider the rights of children in the context of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and a child’s connection with their family, whānau, hapū, iwi and communities.

Dr Ian Hassall was Aotearoa’s very first children’s commissioner, a wonderful man who laid the groundwork for all future children’s commissioners.  

So much important work has been done since Sir Ian’s tenure, giving our tamariki a voice that they so desperately need and ensuring their rights are being upheld. 

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I met with judge Francis Eivers, in the middle of last year, and was given a direct introduction to some of the wonderful work the commissioner does and can only say I am still troubled by the proposed removal of her role. 

Social Justice Aotearoa understands just how important the commissioner is and our position remains clear, we will hold the National party to account where they have said if elected in 2023 they will reinstate the role of Children’s Commissioner, which we have in writing. 

 

Jackie Foster is the CEO of Social Justice Aotearoa.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks, Jackie. The Commissioner for Children is the only independent protection which our children have, and this government abolishing that commissioner against all expert advice is staggering. Being replaced by a coterie of back street pronouns from a second-rate government department is even worse. Good to know that the National Party is committed to bringing back the voice which all of our children need. Kia kaha.

    • I’m assuming Johan that you refer to this:
      In Aotearoa New Zealand, we consider the rights of children in the context of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and a child’s connection with their family, whānau, hapū, iwi and communities.

      I’d really like to know what that means in a non critical way. I’m interested in how it all fits together and what that will deliver.

      • Very good question.
        What is a woman?
        Hell, I know but dare not share …..?

        At least we all know that the treaty is exclusive…. no it is actually inclusive…. no wait…..

        At least we are talking.

    • Johan, Te Tiriti is explicit. There are 5 principles of Te Tiriti which I will not go into here but I will say one of the principles expresses the words Active protection.
      if any government agency is there to actively protect it is the children’s commissioner.

  2. I’m assuming Johan that you refer to this:
    In Aotearoa New Zealand, we consider the rights of children in the context of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and a child’s connection with their family, whānau, hapū, iwi and communities.

    I’d really like to know what that means in a non critical way. I’m interested in how it all fits together and what that will deliver.

    • Nick+J. With respect to all, the Commissioner for Children issue isn’t a Treaty issue, it stands firmly in it’s own right. If some to choose to try and make it a Treaty issue, that’s their choice, but I’m not sure whether it strengthens or polarises the issue. The bottom line has to be what is best for all of our children.

      Labour left me forever when they decided to kneecap the only independent voice which vulnerable children have ever had. It was a good and efficacious voice, and they silenced it. Since then, they’ve made it clear that they don’t want women to have voices either.

      But when they choose to protect themselves, and Oranga Tamariki, rather than the children who the latter is meant to protect, I don’t really trust them about anything much at all. Add in the Greens demonising heterosexual white males as well, and one has to wonder whether they’re all brain damaged themselves, or just haters.

      • I have to agree with you. The children need an independent voice. Just another example of Labour and Greens failure to deliver.

        • Nicky+J, as regards the removal of the Childrens’ Commisioner I actually think it is worse than a ‘failure to deliver’, it’s a case of actively destroying what we had. I can only wonder what, as yet, undisclosed reasons are behind the move.

          • Peter Kelly. Look at who is clumsily “ replacing “ the Children’s Commissioner, and it’s a backroom group from the Education Department who look as if they’ve been selected and photographed as some sort of diversity advertisement Worse, the Education Dept is responsible for the sexualisation of school children with confusing and damaging genderID scenarios, a huge over-reach, not their job, and strange prioritising.

            Somewhere recently reference was made to the decision to abolish this crucial Commissioner emanating from the State Services Commission, but it’s hard to know what to believe nowadays when so much is run by non-elected PR and policy persons and the politicians elected and paid to do jobs are adept at deflecting responsibility elsewhere.

            I do know that senior personnel within Oranga Tamariki itself are unhappy to see the CC go, so at least they are on the children’s side, even if Sepuloni and co are not.

  3. Well done Jackie.
    The work you have done for New Zealand as a collective in such a short time is a credit to you. Not only are you supporting individuals but you are advocating for the wider community, and on issues of importance for the future.

    Keep up this your work and please keep blogging so we can all follow your journey.

  4. Ok Jackie, so what is the problem? If National say they will reinstate the CC, then they will. No need to holdbthem to account like it’s a life mission. You should be spending your energy at calling out THIS ‘kind’ Labour govt and that horrible minister whatshername for getting rid of the CC.

    • People only need to google Jackie and SJA and see the work she and her group did in relation to the removal of the Children’s Commissioner, even publicly acknowledged by the national party for her support. Can you tell us what a lot of other people did? Nothing. Its great to have female warrior of Jackie’s calibre fighting the real fight.

  5. Okay can you tell me how many Politian’s tell the truth in this country. That is exactly why I wrote to National getting their commitment in writing so SJA can ensure that the reinstatement of the CC if National is elected.
    In relation to your question of where I spend my energy, be rest assured I made submissions to parliament in relation to this matter, petitioned the house and Publicly apposed Labour for doing what they did.

    • Jackie. Again, thank you. Politicians lie better than children do, and National’s John Key was certainly an unashamed trailblazer here. But if the abolition of the Commission for Children is another weapon in the left’s anti-free speech crusade, as seen when they refused to listen to the Parliamentary lawn protestors, and brutally shut down Kellie-Jay Keen and the women wanting to speak at Albert Park, then there is a chance that a non-left wing government not opposed to freedom of speech, will allow vulnerable children to have a voice again, just as they once did, and still should.

      At least Mallard’s gone and can’t can’t bully you for your good efforts, nor can the police shockingly sit by and watch while others do as they did to the women seeking voices at Albert Park. Kia kaha.

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