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One Standard Needed for All Races on Child Abuse

One Standard Needed for All Races on Child Abuse

Tuesday 24th Oct 2000 Dr Muriel Newman Media Release -- Social Welfare

Domestic violence and child abuse should be handled the same way for all people, regardless of their ethnic background, ACT Social Welfare spokesman Muriel Newman said.

Dr Newman said she was concerned to read media reports suggesting that senior members of the Maori Women’s Welfare League running a Government-funded parenting programme want to avoid notifying authorities of domestic violence and child abuse unless problems are extreme.

“Violence and child abuse are just that regardless of ethnicity. It is simply unacceptable that any consideration should be given to different reporting standards based on race,” Dr Newman said.

“ACT is supportive of reducing the child abuse problems in our community through methods that are proven to be successful including mentoring schemes. Further, ACT would like to see a one-stop-shop multi-agency approach to child abuse with social workers, health specialists, police and other professionals working together with the goal of reducing child abuse in their regions.

“While the Maori Women’s Welfare League parenting programmes target whanau, it is worthwhile remembering the advice of senior Labour Department official Simon Chapple in a recent paper on Maori socio-economic disparity. He said that sub-cultural and socio-economic class problems are likely to be significantly more complex than simply delivering programmes culturally appropriate to Maori."


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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