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Children's Covenant draws support

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/08/2016

Political parties are supporting a covenant which promises to ensure children are treasured, respected and enjoy a good life full of opportunity.

The Children's Covenant was launched on Friday by it's author, Judge Carolyn Henwood, who was a district court judge for 30 years.

It's a one page document, in English and Maori, committing to protect children from violence, abuse and neglect, support their wellbeing and provide education.

Judge Henwood says she wrote it because while there's a lot of legislation around protecting children there's no "vision statement" for New Zealanders to sign up to.

Within hours of its launch iwi leaders, Labour, the Greens and United future announced their full support.

The Iwi Chairs Forum was the first to sign it, saying every New Zealander who believed in tomorrow's generation should do the same.

Labour's Jacinda Ardern says it's "an important new deal" for the nation's children.

"We have a United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child but there's nothing in New Zealand that draws a line in the sand and says this is what every child deserves."

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says it's a bold statement all politicians should support.

"I'm getting behind the Children's Covenant because we can do better, as politicians, and as a society, to nurture our tamariki."

United Future leader Peter Dunne says it reflects his party's core values.

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