Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Newman calls on Govt to support Starship Hospital

Newman calls on Govt to support Starship Hospital

Friday 25 Jan 2002 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

Starship Hospital's one-stop-shop initiative to help reduce child abuse deserves the support of central Government, ACT's Social Services spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said in a speech prepared for delivery to a meeting in Whangarei tomorrow (Saturday 26^th).

Speaking at the Northern Regional meeting of ACT New Zealand, Dr Newman said it was shameful that the Government had not supported the grass roots move by the Starship child abuse team to provide better co-ordination between state agencies working with abused children.

"The one-stop-shop concept has been well researched and long planned. It is a common sense solution to the lack of inter-agency collaboration, which was clearly identified by the Commissioner for Children as contributing to the death of toddler James Whakaruru.

"Official figures released to me this week by the Minister of Police show that nine children were fatally abused in the year 2000. There is a chance that by working together and sharing information, some of those children would have been identified as being at risk - and could have been saved.

"I believe it is absolutely disgraceful that the Government has not supported this move to enable medical staff, police and child welfare practitioners to work under one roof.

"Instead of being supportive the Government turned its back on the project. They grudgingly agreed it could go ahead just so long as it didn't cost them anything. The $300,000 cost of establishing the unit had to be raised privately.

"Fortunately, with generous public support, the project is now able to get off the ground, although another $100,000 is still needed. Surely a Government that can find $50 million for a Maori television station should be able to find $100,000 to house state agencies working with abused children.

"The Government has its priorities wrong. Child abuse is one of the biggest problems this country faces. The evidence is now very clear that children from abusive backgrounds are the ones who are more likely to get involved in criminal activity, and as parents, they are more likely to be violent and abusive to their own children. It is a cycle that must be broken.

"ACT applauds the Starship initiative, and would even like to see it extended to include education workers as part of a one-stop-shop team, since child abuse is often first noticed by teachers. Further, we would suggest that a key goal should be the reduction of child abuse, using mentors, parenting help, and other forms of support, targeting those families whose children are most at risk.

"Back in 1987, Professor David Fergusson of the Christchurch School of Medicine, through his Christchurch Child Development Study which has followed the fortunes of 1,265 New Zealand children since 1977, warned policy makers about the effect of family structure on the well-being of children: he said that they should `be cautious about accepting enthusiastic claims about the desirability of alternative family structures until the viability or otherwise of these structures has been assessed on the basis of carefully collected empirical evidence'.

"He went on to state that `the dismal statistics emerging from this longitudinal study tend to suggest that this enthusiasm may have been premature or misplaced... While the traditional nuclear family may have limitations as a child-rearing institution, it is open to very serious debate as to whether the alternative of short-term family structures which involves successive transitions between single parent and two parent families will prove to be as effective as a child-rearing institution'.

"A closer look at the information provided to me by the Minister of Police shows that of the nine children who were fatally abused in the year 2000, eight were killed by separated or de-facto parents, with none being killed by a married mother or father.

"According to our Government, however, New Zealanders should be celebrating the emergence of alternative family types, including sole parent families, cohabiting couples, homosexual unions, as well as extended families. The fact that they are promoting the view that the nuclear family unit - consisting of a mother, father and children - is on the way out, and that children do equally well in any of these alternative family structures is worrying. If present trends continue, by the year 2010 a half of European and over three quarters of Maori babies will be born into families where there are no fathers. Unless there is a firm commitment by government to focus on supporting families with children and preventing child abuse, New Zealand's problems will continue to grow", Dr Newman said


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election