December 02, 2022
Murder puts mandatory reporting under microscope
The Minister for Children says ministers will look closely at a recommendation for mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse.
Kelvin Davis says the Government will implement nine of the 14 recommendations in a report by independent reviewer Dr Karen on the killing of 5-year old Malachi Subecz by his caregiver last year.
Six government agencies came into contact with Malachi, his whānau of his caregiver, and his early childhood centre was also criticised for the way it handled suspected abuse.
Mr Davis says reporting is a contentious area.
“Three previous Governments including the last National Government have considered rejected mandatory reporting, so I’d like to look at their reasons for rejecting it and whether those reasons are still valid. We should also look at the situation in Australia, where all the states have a form of mandatory reporting and whether or not it has been as successful as intended,” he says.
The Poutasi report also recommended changes in the way agencies share information, and that Oranga Tamarkiki vet caregivers when a parent is taken into custody.
Malachi was murdered by his caregiver, Michaela Barriball, and died in hospital in November 12, 2021. He had been living in a cabin at the back of a Te Puna property, hundreds of kilometres north of the capital.