Vote for the name of the new Child, Youth and Family agency
Last updated 08:40, August 4 2016
Stuff asked members of the public for their thoughts on the proposed name change of Child, Youth and Family to Ministry for Vulnerable Children.
In fighting to do better for New Zealand’s children it’s right that Kiwis feel a sense of ownership over the new state care system.
Stuff last week revealed a new Ministry for Vulnerable Children will take over from Child, Youth and Family in April next year. While "Ministry for Vulnerable Children" is expected to be the name for the department, this has not been finalised by Cabinet.
"CYF as we know it will no longer exist after March 2017," acting Minister of Social Development Hekia Parata said on July 27. Minister of Social Development Anne Tolley has repeatedly declined to comment since then.
MONIQUE FORD/FAIRFAX NZ
Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft favours a "more hopeful and positive" name than ‘Ministry for Vulnerable Children’.
CYF’s name has been subtly changed three times before and it’s been restructured at least 14 times since its inception in 1992.
* What’s in a name: MPs weigh in on ‘Ministry for Vulnerable Children’
* OPINION: Ministry for Vulnerable Children name ‘stigmatising and labelling’
* Planned ‘Ministry for Vulnerable Children’ labelled "stigmatising" and "cripplingly disappointing"
* CYF to be shut down and replaced by a new ministry
Hundreds of comments on social media and Stuff stories suggest the public is sceptical of another overhaul but keen to be part of the process.
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ
Labour MP Jacinda Ardern says the Government is stigmatising a whole cohort of young New Zealanders while leaving others behind with its creation of a Ministry for Vulnerable Children.
As ACT leader David Seymour said: "[The Minister] is taking on one of the biggest and most urgent challenges in New Zealand."
Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft is calling for Kiwis to suggest a name to replace the proposed Ministry for Vulnerable Children.
"The name of any organisation is important. It reveals underlying assumptions, goals and philosophies," he said. "That is why a recently proposed name for the replacement organisation for Child, Youth and Family is unfortunate. The suggested ‘Ministry for Vulnerable Children’ is stigmatising and labelling."
So, we asked around. What do Members of Parliament think? What do you think?
Many dislike the use of the word "vulnerable" for its negative connotations.
Labour’s children’s spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern has called for a Ministry for Children. She said labelling kids as vulnerable is "stigmatising" and "unnecessarily narrows" the range of issues the ministry can cover.
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said if it was up to her she would set up a Ministry of Family/Whanau.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said the Government should be fixing CYF rather than going through a "costly public relations exercise".
Seymour said it doesn’t pay to argue about the name, and anyway, the children who come before the ministry will indeed be vulnerable.
As Police Deputy Commissioner and former CYF deputy chief executive Viv Rickard said, the new agency represents "a rare opportunity to change the way we do things for the better of children".
Karlee Symonds is part of a youth panel that directly advised Tolley on the ways CYF had failed them. She said the "stigma" of being a ‘CYF kid’ was "always a big thing".
While Stuff isn’t advocating for a particular name, it’s advocating for transparency in the process of selecting one.
Vote for your preference, or add another option in the comment section below.