About Jigsaw


Bringing agencies together to help children

Jigsaw is excited about a new model of service being established in Canterbury to help families affected by violence.

Six non-government organisations, including three of Jigsaw’s partners, are collaborating in a social enterprise that’s designed to achieve the best possible outcomes for vulnerable families.

This is a big change in the fundamental approach of violence related services, ranging from prevention, to early intervention, crisis management and wellbeing.

Tired of working in isolation, these agencies are pulling together and are committed to either fully or partially relocating their services as part of the deal. It’s wonderful seeing them work together in this way.


Food in Schools debate (June 2013)

The front line organisations in Jigsaw’s network know firsthand the realities of families struggling to put food on the table for their children.

The Government’s announcement to expand the KickStart breakfast programme is seen as a positive step towards alleviating some of that stress.

It is sad though that the debate has turned so ugly and that some people choose to judge and blame other parents so harshly.

Regardless of whether or not you agree that schools should be feeding children, there is evidence that shows that if we have properly nourished children there are definite benefits and savings in the health, education, and social sectors as children grow into adults.

Jigsaw encourages you to read the recent working paper released by Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills – A Framework for Food in Schools Programmes - which sets out the arguments well.

How Can You Help? is a new booklet about how to help people in family violence situations. It's based on research by the It's Not Ok Campaign which identified what kind of helping works best.

Campaign Manager Trish Green said "We found that the way help is offered is often the most important thing: not judging, offering support not advice, encouraging people rather than telling them what they should do."

If you're worried about children or other family members but not sure if you should get involved or what action you should take, this booklet has clear advice and suggestions.

Download the booklet or visit the It's Not Okay Campaign website.


Jigsaw is seeking a Whānau-Centred Practice Contract Manager for the Ministry of Health's Violence Intervention Programme (VIP).

The VIP programme seeks to reduce and prevent the health impacts of violence and abuse for people who present to health services, through prevention, early identification, assessment, and referral. Jigsaw is contracted to ensure that VIP programmes are whānau-centred and as effective as they can be for Māori.

The person who holds this position will be responsible for leading and managing Jigsaw's Ministry of Health contract, influencing VIP programme development at a national level, supporting hospital-based VIP programmes to put whānau-centred approaches into practice and to improve their effectiveness for Māori, and encouraging district health boards (DHBs) to build purposeful partnerships with whānau-centred services in their communities.

Download the position description here. All enquiries please contact applications@jigsaw.org.nz or phone Steph Jones (04) 385 7983.

Applications close 5.00 pm Friday 26 April 2013. Interviews with shortlisted candidates will be held in Wellington during the week beginning 6 May.

New Chief Executive

Jigsaw Board Chair Tim Metcalfe today announced the appointment of Sunny Wikiriwhi to the new position of Chief Executive of Jigsaw.

Following a thorough strategic review late last year, Jigsaw has embarked on a fresh direction and appointed Sunny to the new position of Chief Executive.

We, along with our 44 partner agencies, welcome Sunny to our Jigsaw whānau. Sunny (Te Arawa, Tuwharetoa) brings to the role extensive experience both in government and in the community sector.

Together we are excited about this next step in Jigsaw's future as we continue to support whānau, families and children to flourish and thrive.

Seek the wisdom of the ages but look at the world through the eyes of a child (Ron Wild)

Celebrate Children's Day this Sunday

This Sunday - 3 March - is Children's Day. There are free events happening around the country, and the Children's Day website has lots of ideas about things you can do at home with family/whanau, friends and neighbours.

The Children's Day theme is a timeless one - 'Treasure our Children'.

"Children are born pure and with mana. They are a gift, and as grown ups, we have the job of nurturing our kids to be strong and well."

What will you be doing with your kids this Sunday?

18 February 2013

Stragglers step out for Jigsaw

A big congratulations and thank you to the three families making up 'The Stragglers' team that completed the AMI Round the Bays in Wellington yesterday.

The Stragglers have so far raised $895 for Jigsaw - well on the way to their $1000 target! Donations can still be made until 29 March on The Stragglers Everyday Hero website.

Team organiser Angeline Quick reports that all three families had a great day - each went at their own pace and all three toddlers did really well!

A fantastic effort on behalf of families and children throughout New Zealand - thank you Stragglers, and thank you all those wonderful people who have supported the team and donated to Jigsaw.

Last chance to support The Stragglers!

We're constantly thrilled to receive the support of people who share our kaupapa of wanting every whanau and family to be at their very best for their children.

This Sunday (17 Feb) 'The Stragglers' tackle Wellington's AMI Round the Bays - their second year raising funds for Jigsaw. To meet the team and add your support visit The Stragglers Everyday Hero website.

A huge thanks to Angeline Quick, who is the driving force behind the team - we'll be cheering you and your team mates on this Sunday!

Levi Quick will beback round the bays this weekend

Are you Jigsaw's next Chief Executive?

Jigsaw is seeking an exceptional leader to build on the organisation's achievements. This leader will be able to unleash the potential of the relationships, knowledge and skills within our partner agency network and will be able to advocate at a national level on behalf of the network to achieve social change and to give voice to whanau, families and children in all levels of our society.

Please read the full position description (Word doc)

To apply in strict confidence for the Chief Executive position please email your CV and cover letter to applications@jigsaw.org.nz (please ensure contact details of three referees are included).

Applications close at 5.00 pm on Monday 11 February 2013.

For further information please phone Jigsaw Acting Chief Executive Sally Christie on 021 481 491.

Interviews with shortlisted candidates will be held in Wellington on Friday 22 February 2013.


Everything gets different around this time of year doesn't it?

Christmas, New Year, long school holidays - spending time with people we're not used to spending much time with; missing people we can't be with. It's timely to remember that holidays and celebration days can be difficult to face for those going through times of change, loss or grief.

Children struggling with their own feelings are also affected by the actions and emotions of other family members, especially their adult caregivers.

Coping with Holidays and Special Days is an information sheet produced by Jigsaw partner Skylight. It shares ideas suggested by people who have found ways to manage their grief through holidays and special times, and reminds us that planning ahead can make a positive difference to how things turn out.

Viewpoint - 27 November 2012

As Christmas approaches it's timely to remember that holidays and celebration days can be difficult to face for those going through times of change, loss or grief.

Children struggling with their own feelings are also affected by the actions and emotions of other family members, especially their adult caregivers.

Coping with Holidays and Special Days is an information sheet produced by Jigsaw partner Skylight. It shares ideas suggested by people who have found ways to manage their grief through holidays and special times, and reminds us that planning ahead can make a positive difference to how things turn out.

19 November 2012

Have you made your White Ribbon Day pledge yet?

White Ribbon is a global campaign led by men who vow never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women.

This Sunday marks six years since the campaign came to New Zealand and Jigsaw believes it’s making a difference in changing attitudes towards violence.

There’s still a lot of work to do though and at Jigsaw we are hoping White Ribbon will evolve into something New Zealanders care and think about year-round and not just on November 25 each year.

Learn more about the White Ribbon campaign here

1 November 2012

Our Annual Report for the year to 30 June 2012 acknowledges and celebrates the skills and expertise of the Jigsaw partner network of 42 agencies. We report on our collaborations and partnerships and our advocacy for families and children to help them stand strong and independent and reach their full potential.

Read our Annual Report (pdf 4.2 MB) or request a copy by emailing info@jigsaw.org.nz

11 October 2012

White Paper for Vulnerable Children launched at Jigsaw conference

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett shared her vision for vulnerable children at our conference this morning, saying to our agencies: "How we implement these measures is vital; you may agree or disagree with some parts of it. You will have an opportunity to shape how much of this works in our communities."

Co-CE of Jigsaw Sally Christie says “We all need to be smarter about how we work together so that children don’t slip through the net.”

3 October 2012

White Paper to be launched at Jigsaw conference

The White Paper for Vulnerable Children will be launched by Minister for Social Development Hon Paula Bennett at the Jigsaw national conference at Te Papa, Wellington, from 10 to 12 October.

The White Paper is the Government's response to the nearly 10,000 public submissions made in the Green Paper consultation process.

"We must have the courage of our convictions and take bold steps towards change," says Minister Bennett.

Registrations to attend the Jigsaw conference are still open - for White Paper launch and other programme detail see the conference page on this site.

22 August 2012

Shout out to Reece in South Waikato

Reece Te Whaiti has been named as South Waikato's most extra ordinary dad in the campaign run by Cherish our Children. Take a look at the fantastic video that Reece's whanau submitted showing Reece being a great dad.

Jigsaw congratulates Reece, and equally the other dads nominated and their family members that nominated them - you are all extra ordinary!

For more info, visit the Cherish our Children website or facebook page.

Jigsaw national conference this October

A great opportunity to network, learn, and share - put 10-12 October in your diary now! Full details will be available soon; in the meantime please feel free to email info@jigsaw.org.nz with any queries.


17 July 2012

Good on you Owen Glenn for taking a stand against child abuse and trying to do something about it.

The Glenn Family Foundation has announced it will be putting $80 million dollars towards preventing child abuse, starting with an $8 million project in South Auckland.

The millionaire businessman’s generous contribution should be widely applauded.

It is exciting that money is to be spent on preventing child abuse and violence - giving families and communities the skills and support to keep their young people safe. For once, it’s not simply about picking up the pieces afterwards.

This investment is a real opportunity to make a definitive change for the wellbeing of children in this country.

Flicking through a women’s magazine recently I was struck by an article describing how Kiwi women compete with each other about how much we cram into our day.

Past conversations I’ve had with friends can sometimes sound like a game of poker - raising the stakes.

“I’ve got my job, swimming lessons and soccer, pick up Johnny from a play date, home to organise dinner – then school committee at night.

“Well I see your swimming, soccer and volunteer work and raise you... board of trustees meeting and music lessons.”

Next Magazine asked a sensible question - why do we have to outdo each other with how stressed and busy we are?

Jigsaw suggests instead we need to support each other more and talk about ways we can reduce the stress in our lives.

It makes sense. All that running around means that quality time spent with our kids is turned into a high-pitched panic into getting to your destination on time, made harder if the kids are dragging their feet.

Let’s explode the “super mum” or “super dad” myth. If we’re less stressed out our children will love us for it.

30 MAY 2012

UNICEF report on child poverty

When is our nation going to do something about child poverty?

In recent weeks we’ve heard about hungry children scavenging from rubbish bins, high rates of rheumatic fever, children hospitalised for complications from illnesses that could be avoided if treated earlier.

And now a United Nations report has ranked New Zealand as having the 20th worst level of child poverty out of 35 developed countries.

UNICEF classified any household earning below half the median family income in their country as being below the poverty line. New Zealand is behind Australia and Ireland in this list of shame.

It’s depressing because this is nothing new. Medical professionals have been telling us for years and years that our vulnerable children are ending up in hospital with illnesses than can and should be prevented.

The latest UNICEF report found the amount New Zealand spends on the early years of a child's life is less than half the OECD average.

When are we as a nation going to invest more in our children, so they all get a chance to grow up strong, healthy and with the opportunity to live fulfilling lives as contributing members of society?

Measuring Child Poverty: New league tables of child poverty in the world's rich countries Innocenti Report Card 10

14 May 2012

At Jigsaw, we’ve been investigating what businesses can do to prevent child abuse and neglect (see Viewpoint 23 April) so we were thrilled to learn that Every Child Counts and Business NZ are running a discussion series about the role of the business community in the wellbeing of children.

We went along to the first discussion at Te Papa last week. The four speakers made many interesting observations based on the premise that businesses should care about children's wellbeing because:

1. Our children are our future employers and employees, so we need them to have every support and opportunity to reach their full potential; and

2. The negative outcomes of not caring about our kids - crime, poor health, low education standards - lessen our prosperity and the opportunity for businesses to thrive.

The second discussion of the series takes place at Te Papa, Wellington, on 12 July. We're hoping more business people will participate in the discussion. We know the 'why' business should care - we're looking forward to discussing the 'how' they can put that care into action.

Visit the Every Child Counts website

23 April 2012

What can businesses do to prevent child abuse and neglect?

It’s a bit of an odd question isn’t it? Some people would say that businesses have absolutely nothing to do with child abuse and they’re just getting on with the day to day challenges of providing goods or services and making a profit along the way.

But at Jigsaw we believe that every piece matters. Every person in a community, whether they’re a neighbour, grandparent, teacher, business owner or sports coach can and should have a positive influence in a child’s life.

Business owners as employers, can look at making their workplaces family friendly. Encourage a culture where staff members talk about their families. They can safely share any obstacles they’ve had and how they’ve overcome them.

Make work conditions flexible so parents can on occasion care for a sick child and not feel guilty or stressed about it.

Know that when you do this, it creates trust and loyalty from staff who will go that extra mile to reciprocate.

Jigsaw believes that anything that a business can do to reduce stress in a family has to be good for the children involved.

30 March 2012


We are deeply saddened at the passing of Dr Hone Kaa.

Dr Kaa has been a patron of Jigsaw since 2008 and our Chief Executive (Strategic Relationships) Tau Huirama says Dr Kaa always spoke out strongly on behalf of children and families.

“Hone Kaa always had a huge impact on those around him. He had an ability to inspire people to stand up for all our children when no one else would,” Tau says.

“He also encouraged all Maori themselves to work towards improving the wellbeing of all their tamariki and whanau and challenged all of us to be the best we could be.”

His work on Maori television also helped bring people together to discuss the serious issues around how we can better protect our children and promote safe, healthy families.

“Hone Kaa has inspired a great deal of people to open their minds and hearts to children’s issues. It has been a pleasure and an honour working with him,” Tau says.

28 MARCH 2012

What about the Dads?

A survey out today has found that half of Kiwi mums feel guilty about not spending enough time with their children.

The Procter and Gamble Survey questioned 1,000 women about their attitudes to raising children. Fifty-two percent of them felt guilty about their work life balance and the amount of time they dedicated to children.

Jigsaw has always encouraged parents to spend more time with their kids. It doesn’t have to be a super expensive or structured activity - just hanging out on the floor with them while they’re playing or sitting down and really listening to them instils a sense of belonging and knowledge that they are important and loved.

But Jigsaw wants to know, why aren’t Dads also surveyed like this? Does it always have to be the Mums that are made to feel guilty? For that matter, why doesn’t anyone ask grandparents or aunts or uncles if they feel guilty about not spending enough time with their tamariki?

In the Procter and Gamble survey, three quarters of Mums said they have days when they feel isolated while 13% admitted they felt isolated all of the time.

Jigsaw believes when it comes to nurturing children that every piece matters. Whether we’re a sister, brother, uncle or grandparent, we all have a role to play. If the mum is in paid work, then perhaps the dad or grandparent could play a greater part.

It takes a village to raise a child – mums shouldn’t have to shoulder the responsibility by themselves.

12 March 2012

Law changes taking effect this month should encourage more people to speak out for children if they know abuse or neglect is taking place.

The Crimes Amendment Act 2011 comes into force on 19 March, and one of the key changes is that members of households who witness incidents of abuse or neglect against children will be held to account if they fail to act or seek help.

Jigsaw is a strong believer that vulnerable children need adults to speak up for them. It is not acceptable to plead ignorance or to turn a blind eye when a child is being hurt or neglected.

We know also, though, that it’s not always easy to speak up and that to do so may take courage. Our Jigsaw agencies can help you work out what to do if you’re worried about a child but are not sure how to get help. You can also call the Family Violence Information Line - 0800 456 450 or the Child, Youth and Family freephone number - 0508 326 459

Hopefully this new law will provide the impetus some families need to take the step to ask for help. To learn more about the law change and what it will mean, have a look at the Parliamentary Counsel Office legislation page, or Parentline’s summary of the legislation.

(Thanks to Jo Taylor and CAPS Hauraki for sourcing and sharing these links.)

6 March 2012

Getting to know our neighbours helps make great neighbourhoods - fun, friendly and safe places for our kids and families

How well do you know your neighbours? If the answer’s ‘not all that well’, then Neighbours Day Aotearoa could be just the icebreaker you need to change that.

Coming up on 24 and 25 March, Neighbours Day is an opportunity to connect with the people that live around you. Getting to know your neighbours can help turn your street into a neighbourhood - a friendlier and safer place for you and your family to live in. How great would it be if you had someone nearby to sit with your sick child while you pop out to fill a prescription? Someone to look after baby for half an hour when you just need time-out after too many sleepless nights? Someone who’s going that way anyway, so can take your child to sports practice?

And what a difference you could make too, if you knew your neighbours well enough to see when they might need some support - when your friendship and helping hand might make the world of difference.

Take a look at the Neighbours Day Aotearoa website. The team there have put together some great ideas about what you can do this month to get to know your neighbours better, and they share some personal stories about the benefits of ‘being neighbourly’.

14 February 2012

Yesterday, while out walking with my three-year-old son, I took a moment to stoop down to his height, as he pointed something out to me.

He’s become fascinated with drains lately (must be something to do with the recent toilet training) and was showing me a hole in the concrete pathway and how you could see the sea through it.

A simple thing, but it was amazing to him. I started to think about the other things he’s shown me. A ‘fairy’ dandelion caught in a spider’s web, a ladybug under a leaf, a stone in the shape of a love heart.

Too often from our adult ‘tallness’ it’s easy to miss the small things. Rushing around dropping the kids at school or crèche and being weighed down by all the ‘important’ chores and jobs we have to do, it’s easy to overlook the way our children see the world.

Children are constantly trying to understand the world around them and what makes it tick. We should be following their footsteps. How do the decisions we adults make, from a political or personal level, impact on our kids? What do our tamariki see when we interact with others? What does a world free from violence and abuse look like from a child’s point of view?

As New Zealand prepares for Children’s Day on 4 March 2012 Jigsaw urges parents, teachers, social service providers, policy makers, everyone, to take a moment and look at the world through children’s eyes.

We might even learn something.

8 February 2012

Jigsaw is pleased that the courts are taking a tough stand against people who turn a blind eye while children they’re supposed to be caring for get beaten, abused and even tortured.

The three-year jail sentence for the father who sat around playing computer games while his 9-year-old daughter was “tortured” by his partner might seem light to some.

But it’s a major step forwards. In the past, walls of silence have been put up around perpetrators of child abuse by the very people who were responsible for protecting the child.

In the past, they escaped penalty. Not any longer.

Jigsaw hopes this case sends a strong message to parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbours and the wider community. Vulnerable children are unable to protect themselves. They need adults to speak for them.

If you suspect something’s not right, there are ways you can help.

Can you talk over your worries with someone in the wider family and see if there are family members who may be able to help? What about the child’s school or sports club or church group?

If you’re not sure what to do, ring one of Jigsaw’s agencies or phone the Family Violence Information Line on 0800 456 450 for advice. If there’s no one you can talk to safely about your concerns and you think a child is being hurt, then you need to let Child Youth and Family know (freephone 0508 326 459).

January 2012

You don't have to be an expert, or an adult, to have your say on what you think should happen to improve the lives of vulnerable children.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is currently travelling through the country and taking part in Green Paper meetings to allow public, professionals, government and non government organisations and children to have a say.

Dates and venues of these community meetings are posted and updated on the Green Paper website.

You can also share you ideas on Facebook and Twitter. Whatever way suits you best, make sure you have your say by the final date for responses - 28 February 2012.

7 December 2011

How do we make sure that all children and young people have a good start in life? How do we improve the lives of vulnerable children?

The Government's Green Paper for Vulnerable Children sets out some of its ideas, and it wants to hear what all New Zealanders think about these.

If you work with children and young people, you can help ensure that their voices and experiences are heard. Guidelines for engaging children and young people in discussion on the Green Paper (Word 170 kb) contain two resources - one for adults working with children aged 11 and under, and one for adults working with young people aged 12 and over. These are great tools to help you encourage children and young people to talk about the issues and to have their views considered by the Government when it makes decisions about what needs to be done.

Ideas can be submitted in many formats: posters, stories, poems, letters, etc - whatever best works for the children and young people you're working with. They have until 28 February 2012 to have their say on the Green Paper. The Government will be collecting and reading all of the ideas that are sent in and using those ideas to inform a formal policy paper, and will report back on what decisions it has made by the middle of 2012.

16 November 2011

A new approach to breaking the cycle of family violence in Christchurch is an exciting and revolutionary development.

Jigsaw partner Christchurch Women’s Refuge has announced a new focus on keeping women and children safe in their homes, whilst also supporting men in a temporary residential service.

By making their clients’ houses physically safer so that women and children can stay in their own homes, children will have a real refuge and their daily lives and support networks will be disrupted less.

At the same time, along with fellow Jigsaw partner He Waka Tapu, and Relationship Services, they will offer formal residential services for men who must leave their homes. This supports the men to change their ways, rather than just leaving them to their own devices.

It is hoped the new initiative will reduce the need for traditional safe houses for women and children.

Women will be empowered and men encouraged to take responsibility for their violent behaviour. It’s win, win all round.

Read the full media release from Christchurch Women's Refuge.

31 October 2011

At Jigsaw, we were delighted to see All Black Cory Jane spending time with his wife Amie and children during the bustle and ceremony of the Rugby World Cup celebrations in Wellington.

It’s fantastic to see that amidst all the hero worshipping, Jane is always aware of his children and puts their needs first. That’s one of the qualities we recognised when we asked him to become one of Jigsaw’s extra-ordinary dads - positive role models for all fathers to aspire to.

We are so proud of Cory Jane and other All Blacks like Piri Weepu. Not just for winning the Cup, but for demonstrating a great deal of gentleness and love for their children. They have shown they can be strong, manly, achieve a great deal and still be present for their children.

Cory Jane’s wife Amie and son Cassius also featured in a Campbell Live piece about All Black families. It’s great to see the All Blacks embracing the importance of families and sharing that with all New Zealanders. Go the Abs!

View the TV3 News item: Go the ABs - families join in victory parade

(Dominion Post page A4, October 27, 2011).

25 October

A celebration of a piece of great parenting ...Whilst in a hotel restaurant the other morning I enjoyed a family dealing with an experience most of us can easily identify with.

Here was a family group obviously on holiday with several small children, embarking on the adventure of having breakfast in a big hotel together. One of the team, who looked to be aged about 3, was expressing her dissatisfaction with proceedings in a clear, noisy, direct way.

Mum remained focused on the other children whilst Dad did an excellent job of picking her up, holding her close and calmly reassuring her. He didn’t over-react - or under-react for that matter. I think I might have had the urge to hurry my response due to worrying about the other diners judging me by my child’s behaviour.

I heard him a little later up at the bread and pastries corner still carrying her, acknowledging how great she had been the day before, how busy they had been and how different things must be for her. The moment was acknowledged then practicalities were dealt with by giving her the job of choosing a breakfast treat from the selection.

So here’s to all the Mums and Dads out there who successfully day by day parent in a way that gives their children the experience of being understood and at the same time guided to develop more and more sophisticated ways to manage big feelings. Give yourselves a pat on the back!

28 September

It’s obvious it’s election year, but here at Jigsaw we are heartened that several parties are starting to listen to calls for children to be put at the centre of social and economic policy.

Today we had a chance to hear some of the politicians’ views on children, women and family wellbeing, at a special summit organised by Women’s Refuge in Wellington.

A panel consisting of Jackie Blue (National), Sue Bradford (Mana), Metiria Turei (Greens) and Annette King (Labour) agreed there was a need to protect vulnerable children, however as you’d expect, they had different plans for achieving that.

Jackie Blue told the gathering that National is assisting vulnerable children through maternity and well child checks, welfare reform and through its Green Paper discussion on children.

Sue Bradford said Mana wants to lift incomes, increase the minimum wage, replace GST with a financial transactions tax, increase benefit levels and build more state houses.

Annette King said Labour would focus investment on the first five years of a child’s life. She would also restore funding for Child Advocates and Te Rito coordinators, as well as reinstate adult education funding and the training incentive allowance to help give women a second chance.

Metiria Turei reiterated the Greens plans to bring 100,000 children out of poverty in the next three years by increasing the minimum wage, extending training incentives and changing the Working for Families tax credit.

Whoever you choose to vote for this election, Jigsaw urges you to discover what their intention is for children. Because investing in children will help them thrive and flourish and be the productive citizens we know they can be.

19 September

Jigsaw says a new dedicated phone line for teachers and schools to report suspected child abuse could lead to better outcomes for children and more support for families.

The Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett has announced from the end of this month, teachers and schools will be able to use a direct phone line to report their concerns to Child Youth and Family.

Jigsaw Chief Executive Liz Kinley welcomes any move to help schools and teachers feel more confident and have easier access to CYF to talk over their concerns.

But she hopes the phone line will also bring together schools, CYF and community networks like Jigsaw to meet the needs of kids who are not in immediate danger, but who also aren’t thriving.

Liz Kinley says she hopes CYF will be able to put teachers in touch with a wider range of community services that can work alongside families.

Hear Liz on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report, along with Jigsaw partner Child Matters.

02 September

A report on Maori and Pasifika child poverty shows that just over half of New Zealand children living below the poverty line, are Maori and Pasifika.

He Ara Hou - The New Pathway, shows Maori and Pasifika children suffer disproportionately in low living standards and experience significantly poorer health, educational and social outcomes than other groups.

Tau Huirama, Chief Executive from Jigsaw was interviewed on Morning Report, today to discuss this report. He says that while many people in the welfare sector say a lot is being done to reduce child poverty he is yet to see the results.

Instead, Jigsaw sees neglect, with children not getting enough food, attention and the other basics, and violence results.

Listen to the interview here

Tau is also quoted in this TVNZ article. Tau says the whole country benefits by putting children first because if they grow up to live healthy, happy and fulfilled lives they can contribute positively to society.

31 August 2011

Tokoroa children's champion forced to hang up her running shoes

Tokoroa mum of three Rebekah Smith is having to give up her dream of running the New York marathon this year.

Rebekah, who hoped to raise $50,000 for Jigsaw, has come to terms with medical advice not to continue her training. She's still determined, however, to continue to battle against child abuse, and will keep up her fundraising efforts and her links with Jigsaw.

Under the slogan 'Cherish our Children', Rebekah is campaiging to make Tokoroa a better place to raise children and to provide strong role models for fathers and stepfathers. She's looking for volunteers to set up a project group to discuss practical steps that can be taken to reduce child abuse and neglect and promote positive partneting skills.

Read Rebekah's full media release, contact her on 021 447 6162, or visit the Cherish the Children website.

26 August 2011

Jigsaw responds to coroner's recommendations

Jigsaw responded yesterday to media requests for comment following the release of the coroner's report into the death of Nia Glassie. Here are links to two media items - today's New Zealand Herald editorial and a Newstalk ZB interview yesterday.

We invite you to have a read and a listen, and to think about what you can do as a family and whanau member to offer help if you see signs of trouble - how you might be able to look out for all the kids in your family and take action to protect them if you're worried.

24 August 2011

There is no place in New Zealand for a book which teaches parents how to hit, thump, or pull a child’s hair.

Jigsaw supports calls for the banning of To Train Up a Child, written by fundamentalist christians Michael and Debi Pearl from the United States.

This is a book which gives clear and explicit direction on how to harm children.

Not only is this ethically wrong, it is also legally wrong because it encourages people to act against the law.

If there was a book giving instructions on how to hurt your husband or wife, or even your cat, people would be outraged. So we should all be equally disgusted that a book advocates doing this to children.

There are so many positive ways to develop self-discipline in children through love, caring and showing them their boundaries, without the need for physical punishment.

19 August 2011

Knowing those neighbours of yours ...

Jigsaw and Lifewise had the honour a few weeks ago to co-present at the Victory Village Forum in Nelson, a conference about family-centred community development. We shared the work our organisations are doing around connecting people together in their varous neigbourhoods, and it was inspiring to hear from others the stories of change that simple connections have made for a diverse group of people. The common themes were the importance of a sense of belonging, and of being accepted for who we are without judgement.

8 August 2011

Through the eyes of a child …

A Jigsaw Board member shared with us last week some of the highlights of her recent trip to France. What really made the holiday so wonderful, she said, was the company of her young granddaughter, who embraced each new experience with wide-eyed wonder and enthusiasm.

Coming upon the hundreds of brightly-burning candles in the abbey at Mont Saint Michel, the just-turned two year-old delightedly launched into a round of 'happy birthday to you', before turning to grandma to ask if she could blow the candles out. Upon being told that she mustn’t as they were not hers, she glanced again at the many candles and solemnly agreed - "it would have to be someone very old".

Seeing our world through our children’s eyes can bring us great joy. And seeing things from their viewpoint can also help us help them, so let’s take the time to see what our children see, to listen to what our children say, and to learn how our children feel.

11 July 2011

Now we are half way through the school year, try to take time these school holidays to chill out and relax with your children.

This year’s been particularly tough with the first two school terms made longer to accommodate the Rugby World Cup. Some schools are reporting that their students are finding it harder to concentrate, are more tired and there’s been increased illness.

So that’s a good excuse to wind down. You don’t need to jam-pack the days with activities. What children really value is your time. Just hang out with them, listen to what’s on their mind.

If you’re stuck indoors, how about playing a board game together? Make the lounge into a hut with cushions and blankets. You could have a family DVD day – actually sit down and watch the movie with them, they’ll love it.

Or rug up and go for a walk. Kids love trampling through muddy, wet leaves and going for an adventure.

If you have to work, can you spend some time afterwards or at weekends doing something special?

Try to ignore the mess and concentrate on having fun. The housework can always wait till school goes back.

29 June 2011

For every child that is seriously injured after being caught up in violence between Dad and Mum, there are many others who are knocked over, bruised and traumatised without ending up in hospital.

Jigsaw is deeply saddened by the case of a nine-month-old baby who has ended up in hospital in Hastings at the weekend.

In the majority of cases, the violence is from Dad to Mum. If you think a child you know may be living in this kind of situation we urge you to “get involved”.

Can you talk to the mother quietly when she is on her own and ask her if she is okay? Can you talk over your worries with someone in the wider family and see if there are family members who may be able to help? Is there someone else you know who can have a talk to the guy about his behaviour and encourage him to seek help?

If you’re not sure what to do, ring one of Jigsaw’s agencies or phone the Family Violence Information phone line on 0800 456 450 for advice. If there’s no one you can talk to safely about your concerns and you think a child is being hurt, then you need to let Child Youth and Family know.

When violence is going on in a family, children get hurt. The sooner someone intervenes, the better the chances that the violence can stop so everyone in the family can be safe and the children can go on to have healthy, happy and fulfilled lives. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

21 June 2011

I was in a shop today and overheard the assistant telling a work colleague about a neighbour who she had never talked to before bringing a big bag of mandarins over. It meant she had fruit for the children's school lunches and they could have the experience of eating as much as they wanted in one sitting without her having to ration.

What a simple way for that neighbour to share what she had surplus of. It reduced the stress on the mother in terms of providing fruit for the kids and it gave everybody a positive experiece. That person has just made a step toward becoming another safe adult those children know in their neighbourhood.

Have you got spare produce in your garden you could share?

... story shared by Sally Christie, project manager Many Voices, One Purpose

14 June 2011

Yesterday's aftershocks in Christchurch will have brought renewed distress to children and families already living with anxiety and uncertainty.

Jigsaw partner Skylight has collated 'Earthquake Aftershocks Support Information' which includes ideas about understanding and supporting children and teens, and resources for children to help them cope with change. Visit Skylight's site for earthquake resources and links that could help you and your family.

6 June 2011

Tim Metcalfe chairs our Jigsaw National Board, and we’re delighted that he’s been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours. Tim’s Queen’s Service Medal has been awarded for services to his community. As executive officer of Jigsaw Whanganui he leads a team working to end family violence and to support families build positive relationships. Tim’s passion is to bring about positive change nationally as well as locally, and this is reflected in the outstanding leadership he brings to the Jigsaw National Board.

Read Tim’s comments and more about his work in the Wanganui Chronicle article about Tim’s work and his QSM.

3 June 2011

Dave and Clare Quested's dream is for all children to be raised in safe and nurturing ways. They're walking the length of New Zealand, raising funds for Jigsaw to help make this dream become reality. Earlier this week they passed through Wellington, and joined us at Jigsaw for lunch before continuing their journey north. What an inspiration they are! They've encountered bad weather and rough terrain, have struggled on blistered feet, and have coped with mice - rats even! - in the various huts they've stayed in. But they've also met some terrific people, who have been very generous with their practical and financial support. With over 1000 kms walked so far, Dave and Clare have already raised almost $1000 for Jigsaw. Visit Dave and Clare's 'arewenearlythereyet' website to find out where they are now, and how you can contribute.

23 May 2011

Too often when we hear about horrific cases of child abuse in the media, people say someone should have done something. If only they had spoken out and told someone they knew that a child was in danger.

It seems that child abuse is always someone else’s problem. When you see a neighbour under stress, it’s too easy to say “it’s none of my business”. Here at Jigsaw, we want to encourage all people in our community to look out for our children.

“Working Together to Keep Children and Young People Safe” is a useful guide, put together recently by Child Youth and Family, for people who want to help, but don’t know how. The section on communities is particularly worthwhile reading.


13 May 2011

Reach your personal goal and help NZ Children

It is a privilege for Jigsaw to be working with Kinleith and one of their team Rebekah Smith in the community of Tokoroa.

Whilst Rebekah trains for her first marathon in November in New York she is passionately gathering a movement around her to make a difference for children in her community and the rest of New Zealand.

We are exploring ways that all of us can make a positive difference for children we come into contact with. Our first challenge is getting to know each other at the Huntly half marathon on Sunday 22 May. Rebekah will be running the half marathon whilst many of the rest of us will be striding out on the 10km walk! If we all do our personal best that day we will all benefit. The same goes for the well being of children. Don’t wring your hands and do nothing because it feels too overwhelming. Start today. Notice and acknowledge a child in your street. Pay particular attention to what your children are telling you when they arrive home from school. They want attention not treats that cost money. Be kind to each other

9 May 2011

Jigsaw welcomes the appointment of Dr Russell Wills as the new Children’s Commissioner.

We think Dr Wills, who is currently Head of Paediatrics at Hawke's Bay District Health Board, brings a wealth of experience and skills to the role especially through his front line work as a practising community paediatrician.

One of Jigsaw’s partners in Hawke’s Bay, Family Works, has worked closely with Dr Wills, in helping to reduce child abuse and neglect in the Hastings area through the B4 School health checks. Jigsaw believes that Dr Wills’ experience in dealing with child abuse and child poverty on a daily basis will mean that he will be a strong voice for children.

Read Minister Bennett's announcement of the appointment at www.beehive.govt.nz/release/new-children%E2%80%99s-commissioner-appointed-0