Call to scrap Families’ Commission to fund Children’s Commission

“The Children’s Commission plays a critical hands-on role in our children’s well-being,” Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“It monitors those who work closely with our most vulnerable children, including Child Youth and Family residential and youth justice facilities and complaints.

“Yet today at select committee we are told the Commission is so cash-strapped that youth justice and care and protection residences that used to be visited annually are now being visited every 18 months, while remaining CYFs sites will have even fewer visits. 

“This is the same organisation that has had to resort to charity to do its job - getting funding from the JR MacKenzie Trust to complete work on child poverty.

“It has also stopped all publications, shut its Auckland office, and reduced the number of times the Young Person’s Advisory Group meets.

“In the 2014 budget the Government has declined the Commission’s bid for extra baseline support of $400,000, and another for $480,000 to take on even just a minimal role in CYFs complaints oversight – something the Government has asked them to do.

“It’s clear the Children’s Commission needs extra support. We don’t need to spend more overall, but rather reprioritise funding. Scrapping the Families’ Commission is the best way to do that.”