Former Children's Commissioner Ian Hassall has been praised
by MPs after he received a United Nations award recognising
his dedication to improving child welfare.
Dr Hassall, New Zealand's first Children's Commissioner and
currently a research associate at the Institute of Public
Policy at Auckland University of Technology, received the UN
Children's Fund (Unicef) Aldo Farina Award in Seoul in Korea
at the weekend.
Dr Hassall has been a long-time advocate of children's
rights, having been at the forefront of many initiatives here
designed to improve their welfare.
"This prestigious award recognises the extraordinary job Ian
has performed on behalf of our children over many years,"
Labour deputy leader Annette King said today.
Ms King said Dr Hassall had many achievements to his name and
contributed to the development of the 1989 Children, Young
Persons and Their Families Act.
Minister responsible for Whanau Ora, Tariana Turia, said the
award, which was open to recipients from 194 countries, was
an "astounding tribute".
"I'm sure if this was in the sporting arena, the gold medal
for the children's hero would be creating front page news,"
Mrs Turia said.
She said Dr Hassall had put Aotearoa on the world map through
"I want to put on record, my great appreciation and
congratulations to Dr Hassall for his investment in children
as the foundation of our future."