The Most Powerful Thing We Have Ever Done

As Deputy Chief Executive of Child, Youth and Family and Community Investment Murray Edridge encourages Pasefika Proud initiatives bringing together Pacific community leaders to share knowledge and experience, in the exploration of solutions that will strengthen Pacific families. 

Murray Edridge, Deputy Chief Executive, Child, Youth & Family and Community Inve

Murray Edridge, Deputy Chief Executive, Child, Youth and Family and Community Investment

“A State of Care report recently released by the Children’s Commissioner stated that New Zealand is a nation that was failing too many of our kids,” he says.

“The questions for everyone are clear: What are we going to do about it? What are you going to do about it? What am I going to do about it?”

“In order to make the transformative, generational change that is required, everyone must take collective responsibility and ownership of the ways forward. If left completely to the government, it won’t be completely right.”

He says everyone has a role to play in the changes that are required to ensure the most vulnerable children and families get the right support at the right time in the right way.

“In June 2016 New Zealanders from all walks of life were united in a ‘March for Moko’ in towns and cities across the country. They rallied for an end to child abuse as Tania Shailer and David Haerewa, the killers of toddler Moko Rangitoheriri, were sentenced at the Rotorua High Court,” he says.

“Amidst these tragedies, New Zealand is reaching a tipping point. It’s the point at which a slow, reversible change becomes irreversible, often with dramatic consequences.”

Murray hopes that such a point will be reached, thus changing the lives of our families and communities for the better.

He says now is that time, and that government wants to work with everyone in order to figure out the ‘how’.

“Government is embarking on changing the way it provides support and services to vulnerable children, young people and their families,” he says.

“May this be the most powerful thing we have ever done.”