August 14, 2013
State not trusted with children
Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says Māori families in particular will have cause for concern over National’s new child protection moves.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is proposing new rules around child abuse, including the ability for courts to ban suspected abusers from contact with children for up to 10 years on the say so of police or Child Youth and Family, even if there are no charges proven.
Ms Turei says it’s a back to the future approach that goes against efforts to involve wider whānau and raises a major question.
"Is the state trustworthy with our kids? And we’ve seen heaps of evidence over a number of years particularly with Māori children who tend to be the ones most likely to be taken off their parents, most likely to be in some form of state care, that actually they are not. We’ve had kids who have suffered abuse, hundreds and hundreds of children, while they have been in state care," she says.
Ms Turei says the policy assumes a large number of adults are unsafe with children, but it’s not backed by evidence.
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