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Minister welcome Children's Commissioner's report

25 June 2000 Media Statement

Minister welcomes Commissioner for Children's report

Minister of Corrections Matt Robson today welcomed the release of the Commissioner for Children’s report into the death of James Whakaruru.

“All of us feel saddened by this tragic case,” he said.

The Commissioner has raised a number of concerns about the Department of Corrections, Mr Robson said.

“However, my Department has assured me that the Commissioner’s concerns are being addressed.”

Mr Robson said when this tragic case first came to light the Department of Corrections held its own inquiry. The results of this were publicly released in December last year.

“Their inquiry found that the Community Probation Service did not properly manage Mr Haerewa’s supervision in that it did not take action when he failed to meet his reporting requirements.

“However, the Department did ensure that he attended an anger management course. This was despite a communications breakdown between my two departments.

“These events are unfortunate but both my departments have taken steps to minimise the risk of this type of mistake happening again."

Mr Robson said the Community Probation Service had improved the way it handled people on sentences of supervision to ensure the standards set for the management of sets are met.

“There has also been a meeting of all the officials concerned about the Whakaruru case who have looked at how they can work more effectively together to minimise the risk of this occurring again.

"I as Minister, and the Government as a whole, take this report of the Commissioner for Children very seriously. We will give our full consideration to all of the fundamental questions that have been raised," said Mr Robson.

Ends

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