This is not the Aotearoa New Zealand we want children and tamariki to live in. All children should grow up feeling loved, safe and supported. They should never fear for their lives, go without enough food or adequate shelter, feel worthless and unloved, or feel alone or need to fend for themselves.
Advocating for an Aotearoa New Zealand where every child shines bright
Barnardos believes in an Aotearoa New Zealand where all children thrive because of good care, education and health. Where they can access extra support— if and when they need it— in ways that work for them. An Aotearoa New Zealand where all children get to actively live and experience their rights which they are entitled to under the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child. Children who feel confident and capable, resilient and culturally connected, with a strong sense of hope for their future, encouraged to pursue their dreams.
Our advocacy aims to influence policies, practices, systems, laws and organisations so that they protect and promote children and their rights and well-being. The issues we're currently advocating on to create positive change for children and tamariki are:
- The impact of a lack of household income on children
- The impact of physical and emotional harm on children
- Child and youth suicide prevention
- Reducing bullying
- Healthy and safe housing for all children
Our advocacy is constructive and highlights effective solutions and ideas to address problems. Recently we published our Briefing to the Incoming Government 2017, which focuses on key priorities for children in New Zealand. You can read our briefing here (PDF 5.03MB).
Amplifying children’s voices
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.
- We represent and reflect children's voices in our advocacy, to influence positive change which will have real outcomes for children in New Zealand.
- We amplify children's experiences and elevate their voices — so they can tell their own stories.
- We draw on the insight and knowledge we have from working with and listening to a wide range of children, their families and whānau across our Early Learning Centres and Home-Based Network and our Child and Family Services.
- We consult with children on decisions that affect them and work constructively with the government and other key decision-makers on their behalf, to share their views and to present solutions that will work for Kiwi kids.
- We lobby, petition and campaign for awareness and advancement of the rights and well-being of all children in Aotearoa New Zealand.
- We partner with other organisations to extend our impact and do what’s needed to deliver our vision of an Aotearoa New Zealand where every child shines bright.
Children and Young People's experiences of COVID-19
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.
Here's what this group of tamariki and rangatahi told us.
One way we advocate for children’s rights and well-being is by making submissions on important issues and new or amended laws and policies affecting children. Here are some of our recent submissions:
Find out more
We welcome your support to join with us in building a culture of respecting, protecting and celebrating all children as the taonga they are.
Who to contact
If you’d like to know more, contact Mahala Pinchen, Advocacy Advisor.