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Child care and protection bill passed

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/12/2016

© Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Parliament has passed the first set of major reforms in the government's overhaul of the way the state cares for children.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says they're crucial to the delivery of a truly child-centred care system.

"For the first time, children and young people will, by law, have a say in the decisions that affect their lives," she said after the bill had passed its third reading on Tuesday night.

"Their voices will also play an important role as the development of the new operating model for the care system continues."

The reforms in the Children, Young Persons and Their Families (Advocacy, Workforce and Age Settings) Amendment Bill:

* Extend the age of state care and protection to a young person's 18th birthday

* Ensure the views of children and young people are taken into account as part of the decision-making process

* Support the establishment of an independent youth advocacy service

* Enable a broader range of professionals with specialist skills to work within the system.

The bill passed by 75 votes to 45.

National, NZ First, the Maori Party, ACT and United Future supported it.

Labour and the Greens opposed it.

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