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Pakura Can't Have Her Cake And Eat It Too

Pakura Can't Have Her Cake And Eat It Too

Thursday 17 Jul 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today demanded to know how much spare time CYF chief social worker Shannon Pakura could have when her agency is plagued by systemic failure, and a record that reads like a litany of tragedy.

"Ms Pakura has been working in Minister Tariana Turia's office in her `spare time' - how much spare time could she have when CYF is short of qualified staff, has been plagued by the death of a number of children whose cases it has been investigating, and has 2,600 unallocated cases?" Dr Newman said.

"If Ms Pakura has so much time on her hands, perhaps she should spend it trying to address the endemic flaws in an agency that is fast becoming obsolete and is not keeping pace with the problems of today's society.

"What is worse is that her part-time job is undermining her role with CYF. Children's Commissioner Roger McClay has today said he will not meet with Ms Pakura while she continues to moonlight in the Minister's office. How can Ms Pakura - whose role is to care for at-risk children - do her job effectively when Mr McClay feels there are now things he cannot discuss with her.

"Ms Pakura is undermining her own position, and putting children at risk. Her role is one that demands more than 100 percent. It is time for CYF and the Government to stop trying to fudge the lines and tell us exactly what is going on. And Ms Pakura must decide whether she wants to be a social worker, or a Ministerial secretary - she cannot have it both ways," Dr Newman said.

ENDS

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

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