Iwi Leaders stand against child abuse

Iwi leaders will this morning sign a covenant promising to protect the nation’s children.

The national accord pledges to protect children from all forms of violence, provide a proper standard of living, and strengthen the children’s bonds with family, hapū and iwi.

It is expected to be announced and then signed at the Iwi Leaders Forum at Hopuhopu at 8:30 am.

The Accord is apparently the brain child of Judge Carolyn Henwood and other prominent leaders including Sir Mark Solomon, Sir Stephen Tindall, Naida Glavish and many others to develop the agreement.

The Governor General has been consulted and the Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft is also backing the pledge.

Earlier this year the proposed covenant for children was tabled to Prime Minister John Key, Minster of Social Development Anne Tolley and Minister of Treaty Negotiations Chris Finlayson.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley told Te Kāea in May that she was looking at ways to incorporate Judge Henwood’s work into the overhaul of CYF.

Te Kāea gained a draft copy of the accord last night which reads: A Covenant for our Nation’s Children.  Written in Maori and English it promises to undertake an unconditional duty to ensure all children are treasured, respected with equal opportunity.

“This covenant recognises that to allow our children to thrive and stand strong at home. In their communities and in the world, we need to take responsibility for our role in the lives of all children. To that end, we will be champions for our children and will act with integrity in our dealings with them and treat them fairly in all things to ensure that they receive justice.”

It makes 10 specific pledges to the children of the nation.

Te Kāea will have more on this breaking story tonight at 5:30 

Click here for full text of Covenant