Children are our treasures, our future and our responsibility

New Zealand marks Te Ra o Nga Tamariki today

Staff Reporter, Auckland March 7, 2021

Image from Oranga Tamariki Website

Today marks Children’s Day  (Te Ra o Nga Tamariki) and Minister for Children Kelvin Davis has appealed to all New Zealanders to think about their responsibility to support the lives of the Tamariki in their communities and to make this a special day for celebrating them.

Children’s Day is a day of national awareness that aims to make all children in the country feel appreciated, held on the first Sunday of March each year.

Every Child’s Birthday

Mr Davis said that Te Ra o Nga Tamariki is about everyone putting in the effort to make Tamariki realise that they are special, they are loved, they are important.

“It is something that all of us should be doing every day. But the reality is that not every parent, grandparent or guardian in the country always has the time to drop everything else and really focus on the children. That is what this day is about; l would love every child in the country to feel like it is their birthday today, to feel appreciated, supported and loved for who they are,” he said.

Mr Davis was due to attend the Horowhenua Children’s Day event but cancelled due to Covid-19 Alert Level restrictions.

Oranga Tamariki coordinates Children’s Day on a national basis by (a) raising public awareness of the day and its theme (b) encouraging community organisations, councils and mayors to run events (c) supporting events through providing giveaways and (d) promoting events on the childrensday.org.nz website

Minister for Children (RNZ Picture by Richard Tindiller)

Legendary events

Mr Davis said that Horowhenua’s Children’s Day events are legendary and amongst the best in the country.

“Unfortunately, this year’s event and many others around the country have been cancelled due to Covid-19. However, I still want to acknowledge all the efforts of Councils, Iwi organisations, NGOs, libraries, early childhood centres, schools, churches and other community groups who make these events possible each year, and I look forward to attending a Children’s Day celebration in 2022,” he said.

According to him, the government had placed child wellbeing at the heart of its work and was making good progress, despite the disruptions caused by Covid-19.

Vision and Strategy

“The vision set out in our Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy is for New Zealand to be the best place in the world for children and young people. There is much more to do, but our plan to get there is making a difference. What’s important is that we keep making progress on improving the wellbeing of children. But Government alone cannot ensure our children get the support, love and attention they deserve.

He said that all New Zealanders have a role to play in ensuring that Tamariki all over the country are happy, safe and thriving.

“So, it is great that we have days like this to bring families together and remind each other about our country’s most important taonga,” Mr Davis said.

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