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Family definition so wide it includes gangs

Family definition so wide it includes gangs

The definition of 'family group' in the Family Commission Bill, introduced to Parliament today, is so wide it includes Black Power, Mongrel Mob, Hell's Angels and triads, says National Social Services Spokesperson Katherine Rich.

"United Future might think that the gangs represent families that need advocacy, but National doesn't. "The definition of family (any group whose members 'have a significant psychological attachment') is so broad it has made a mockery of the Families Commission. It will be very difficult for this Commission to advocate for something which has no clear definition.

"The definition encompasses all New Zealanders who already have representation. It's called the New Zealand Parliament.

"National believes families are the cornerstone of society, but we can't support this waste of money that will duplicate services and do nothing for families in need. Opposing this bill is not anti-family, it is common sense. We'd rather support something that will make a difference to families' lives - initiatives like reducing CYFs social worker caseloads and programmes like Family Start and Parents as First Teachers.

"All New Zealanders know this Commission is an election pay-off to United Future, and that erodes any credibility it may have had from the start," said Mrs Rich.

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