Waitematā has become the first of Auckland’s local boards to sign up to the UNICEF Child Friendly Cities Initiative.
The initiative is an internationally recognised framework helping cities put children’s rights at the centre of their goals, policies, programmes and structures, so that their rights are adhered to and their voices heard.
“We endeavour to include all members of our community in decision-making processes,” says Waitematā Local Board Chair Shale Chambers. “And we welcome the UNICEF programme because it increases the rigour with which children are listened to and involved.”
All public consultations, decision making, events and awards for the Waitematā community include youth and children. The recent Waitematā Good Citizen Awards had a specific youth category to recognise volunteer work done by the ward’s younger populace. This year, four people under 24 were recognised for their outstanding dedication to making Waitematā a great place to live.
The Child Friendly Cities Initiative was launched in 1996 in response to a resolution passed during the second United Nations Conference on Human Settlement, which declared that the well-being of children is the ultimate indicator of a healthy habitat, a democratic society and good governance.