Children are our taonga, Children are our future

About the conference

The Centre for Global Studies in Education at University of Waikato, Te Whare Wânanga o Waikato, Hamilton, hosted this important national hui in response to recent reports and research on children and young people in crisis in Aotearoa/ New Zealand.

This 3 day conference provided an opportunity for all interested groups (e.g. practitioners, teachers, counsellors, social workers, academics, police, paediatricians and agencies) to discuss these vital issues and seek evidence-based solutions for better services for children and young people. This included:

  • discussing government policies and initiatives
  • promoting an on-going forum
  • producing other relevant publications (in process)


Four strands:

1. Child Poverty –  Keynote: Professor Jonathon Boston, Victoria University of Wellington co-author of the report on Child Poverty, 2012

2. Child Abuse – Keynote: Anthea Simcock, ONZM JP, Child Matters Hamilton

3. Children’s Rights – Keynote: Justine Cornwall from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner

4. Child Policies & Practices  – Keynote:  Kuni Jenkins and Helen Harte from Mana Ririki



The White Paper On Vulnerable Children, 2012 – The Sad Reality

Too many children live a life far below the norm, most of them let down by the very people, often the only people, who they should be able to trust and rely on to love and protect them. Here is the sad reality:

  • Between seven and ten children, on average, are killed each year by someone who is supposed to be caring for them. In 2010, 209 children under 15 required hospital treatment for assault related injuries.
  • In the 12 months to 30 June 2012, 152,800 care and protection notifications were made to Child, Youth and Family. After investigation, Child, Youth and Family found:

.            – 4,766 cases of neglect
.            – 3,249 cases of physical abuse
.            – 1,396 cases of sexual abuse
.            – 12,114 cases of what social workers term ‘emotional abuse’, often children who
.               have witnessed family violence.

  • As at 30 June 2012, there were 3,884 New Zealand children in out-of-home state care.* But, recent advances in research and technology mean we can now start to get ahead of the problem, identifying and helping some 20,000 – 30,000 vulnerable children and families, in many cases before the greatest harm occurs.

The White Paper On Vulnerable Children, 2012,



Kingsgate Hotel, Hamilton 7-9 October 2013