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More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed

More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern.

“The Office of the Children’s Commission State of Care report released today confirms Labour’s policy to get rid of the Families Commissioner and give more funding to the Children Commissioner so they're better equipped to do their job.

“Thorough investigations into alleged fight clubs which eventually proved inconclusive continue to raise issues around bullying and violence.

“The Children’s Commissioner, Judge Andrew Becroft, has highlighted that conditions at the State Care residences were improving but general practice was variable and the environment was dated and bleak.

'These residences need better oversight, but the Children's Commissioner is currently only able to visit every 18 months. That's just not sufficient.

“I support recommendations including better monitoring, better advisory services and more focus on Māori kids who make up 70 per cent of the youth prison population.

“Labour’s policy to boost funding to the Children’s Commissioner is because they haven’t been resourced to do the job properly to ensure the safety of these kids and it puts them in a very tough situation.

“Child safety should be paramount to Kiwi culture and a Labour-led Government would ensure the resources are in the right place so New Zealanders have confidence in the State that truly cares about these kids,” says Jacinda Ardern.