What's in a name? Well if you listen to the howls of protest about the naming of a new Ministry to take over from an old Ministry then it would seem quite a lot.

The Child Youth and Family Ministry is to be superseded by the Ministry for Vulnerable Children and that's seen Labour's Jacinda Ardern gnashing her teeth saying there's a huge risk that by having such a narrow focus, children who aren't vulnerable will be ignored.

Fair suck of the dummy, most children are rightly ignored by the system, and wouldn't want a bar of it, because they're happily looked after by their loving parents.

That said, this first world country has little to be proud of when it comes to a staggering 20 percent of our kids who are indeed vulnerable. Every second day a child under the age of 14 is admitted to hospital after being assaulted, maltreated or simply neglected. Half of them are under five with the most vulnerable age tragically being under two.


Around a dozen kids in the same age group are murdered in New Zealand every year. We've all heard the grotesque stories of abuse leading to their deaths that don't bear repeating.

We all have a responsibility for this horrible situation, to report cases of child abuse without exception. Too often it's swept under the mangy carpet by families protecting the abusers.

Those who knowingly fail to report the abuse should be charged.

Children who are vulnerable aren't concerned about the name of the Ministry that'll offer them the shelter and help that their parents are clearly unable or unwilling to provide for them.

Silly claims by the likes of the Public Service Association that the renamed Ministry will stigmatise the children it's aiming to help and scare families who are trying to do the best for their kids don't help.

Their claim that it treats children as the problem rather than looking at their potential defies logic, just as their ridiculous notion that they may as well call the Health Ministry the Ministry for Sick People or the Justice Ministry, the Ministry for Criminals. It's superficial and it just plain misses the point.

The new Ministry's for vulnerable children, full stop.

But by creating it the Government must know it's now putting itself to the test and will be judged by the results.