Barnardos believes in an Aotearoa New Zealand where all children thrive because of good care, education and health and where they can access extra support— if and when they need it— in ways that work for them.
All children in Aotearoa have the right for their best interests to be at the heart of any laws or policies which affect them. That’s why Barnardos makes submissions on suggested changes to laws and policies affecting children, with a focus on keeping children’s rights and needs at the centre of government decision making. Here are some of our recent submissions:
We advocate at the systems level for the rights and needs of tamariki grounded in what we know from the mahi that Barnardos people do every day, and what tamariki, rangatahi and whānau tell us.
Across our early learning and social services and in communities throughout the country, we talk with and listen to children from all walks of life. This means we have strong insights into children’s hopes and aspirations, as well as the challenges they’re facing. It's vital that their ideas and experiences are heard and championed, so we can build an Aotearoa New Zealand where every child can flourish and realise their potential.
Our advocacy aims to influence policies, practices, systems, laws and organisations so that they protect and promote children and their rights and well-being. Out advocacy is constructive and highlights effective solutions and ideas to address problems. At the beginning of the year we published we published our Briefing to the Incoming Government 2021, which focuses on key priorities for children in New Zealand.
You can read our briefing here.
Our children and tamariki are our future. Today's children will grow up to be our co-workers, teachers and leaders. It's essential that children are loved, cared for, encouraged and supported to develop and be all they can be. This is why Barnardos advocates for all children, and to help create positive change for and with children.
Five to Thrive is a collective advocacy campaign run by four of New Zealand’s leading children’s organisations; Barnardos, Save the Children, Whānau Āwhina Plunket and Te Kāhui Mana Ririki. The Five The camapign was formed in 2020 with the vision of working together to put children at the centre of the 2020 General Election.
Many of the things Five to Thrive advocated for during the Elecion campaign are reflected in the Government’s manifesto, and now Five to Thrive is continuing to advocate on our five key asks. In doing so, collectively we are holding the Government to account on its promises for children over the next three years.
As well as solid research and evidence, Barnardos' advocacy for children's rights and well-being is informed by the lived experience of children, tamariki, young people and rangatahi and what they tell us.
Reflections on the time in lockdown & feelings about Level 2
On 13 May 2020, the last day on New Zealand's COVID-19 Alert Level 3, we polled a small group of children and teenagers to find out how they are feeling about the situation we are in. We polled them through our Barnardos 0800 WHATUP Instagram, so they know that help is there for them from our trained counsellors if they want a safe place to talk about anything at all.
In our poll, we asked how they felt about Aotearoa moving to Alert Level 2, about their time in their mirumiru (bubbles) under lockdown, and what they were looking forward to as the COVID-19 recovery journey begins.