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Child Youth and Family

25 February 2002 Media Statement

Child Youth and Family

I am pleased that National Social Services spokesperson Bob Simcock has acknowledged the impact nine years of National neglect, says Associate Social Services and Employment Minister Tariana Turia.

"It is interesting that Mr Simcock now realises that 'Government has a responsibility to ensure that all children get the best possible care'.

"Ensuring children get the best possible care is something that I have always believed absolutely.

"We have needed to put in a substancial amount of funding into the department since becoming government and we continue to work closely with the department to overcome the neglectful situation we inherited.

"However, I was shocked that Mr Simcock would choose to outright lie, by stating that I believe 'Maori children should stay with whanau regardless of the circumstances'.

"That is simply not true and it is a very stupid statement to make.

"The children of all New Zealanders should enjoy a loving and caring environment in which they are nurtured and protected. I believe that within extended family and in the hapu and iwi of those families under pressure, a family can be found that can provide such an environment," said Tariana Turia.

ENDS

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