All day it poured in, email after email.

So much information to take in - not just the White Paper for Vulnerable Children itself, but the flood of responses.

There were so many organisations having a say on the Government's plan: teachers, nurses, children's advocates, Maori children's's advocates, children's charities, the Families Commission, Plunket, early childhood educators, social services.

And so they should - looking after the welfare of kids is about as important as it gets.


Usually when the Government puts out a new policy, the overwhelming majority of responses are knocking it down.

So it was interesting to find so many were pleased with the direction the paper was taking and welcomed the measures being introduced.

The feeling seemed to be: we're finally taking steps in the right direction.

But another common response was that it's still not doing enough; that while the initiatives were welcome, a focus on broader issues like child poverty was missing.

The hard thing when you're wading through the information is trying to drill through the policy-speak to actually get to the heart of what this will mean for kids. For a child living today in tough circumstances, maybe coping with physical abuse, with not having enough to eat or clothes to wear to school, does life get materially better as a result of this paper?

I kept thinking about the case of Nia Glassie, which featured on television just this week, and even though we have all heard the story before, were still so shocked all over again.

What difference would it have made to Nia, had these policies been in place then? How would her short life have been materially different?