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Govt Ignores Hope And Smart Families' Plea

The Government is not listening to the Hope and Smart families who have pleaded with the police to 'look again' for the bodies of their children, Kaikoura MP Lynda Scott said today.

Lynda Scott questioned the Minister of Police in Parliament today about why he backtracked on the comments he made in the media on Friday and Saturday that there would be a further search.

Justice Minister Phil Goff, replying on behalf of Mr Hawkins, stood by the decision of Police Headquarters that there was not enough evidence to conduct a further search. He dismissed Detective Inspector Pope's analysis that there was a high probability that the objects were Ben and Olivia.

"Yesterday the families called for another search but it was obvious from questioning in Parliament today that neither the Government nor Police headquarters support them in that call," Dr Scott said.

"Mr Goff used the private search as an excuse for the police not to conduct a further search. The private search used only high definition and wide range cameras and the searchers advised that it was likely the objects had moved or been covered by sand in the time lapse.

"Mr Hawkins contradicted himself throughout the weekend about the possibility of a further search, adding further to the families' distress.

"There can be little resolution to the continuing nightmare for the Hope and Smart families until they have the bodies of their children to put to rest in a proper burial.

"There will not be a parent in New Zealand who would begrudge spending the money to recover the bodies of Ben and Olivia," Dr Scott said.


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