The government has launched New Zealand’s first Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy.
Together, we can make New Zealand, Aotearoa the best place in the world for children and young people.
The Ministry of Justice will contribute to two key areas of the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy:
Firstly, children are loved, safe and nurtured – this includes our work on the review of the Family Justice system and looking at what changes need to be made to ensure that the system is children-centred and to lessen the impacts on them and their families. It also includes our work with the Joint Venture on Family Violence and Sexual Violence, developing and implementing new law, and operational improvements in the courts. This work intersects with Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata, Safe and Effective Justice.
Secondly, children and young people are free from racism, discrimination and stigma – this includes the work of our Civil Law and Human Rights Team together with the Ministry of Education, considering how we provide safe spaces; transform the way Government develops policy; and how our communities understand racism, discrimination, power and privilege.
While the majority of New Zealand’s children and young people are doing well, the distressing reality is that many are not experiencing anything close to a good life. Too many children and young people, and their families, are facing significant, often ongoing, adversity, deprivation and stress which reduces their wellbeing and life opportunities. This may include poverty, intergenerational family violence, sexual violence, mental illness, or addictions.
In the justice system we see the impacts of this adversity and stress, with 80 percent of those in the youth court having experienced family violence. The trauma of family violence and sexual violence is evident among wider court users and in the prison population, also.
New Zealand's first Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy is bold and ambitious. It sets out a shared understanding of what is important for child and youth wellbeing, what government is doing and how others can help. It sets out actions across government.
The Strategy priorities are:
For more information and a copy of the strategy document: childyouthwellbeing.govt.nz(external link)