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Clark comments on CYF boss concerning

Katherine Rich MP National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

18 July 2003

Clark comments on CYF boss concerning

"Comments by Helen Clark that the dual role of the CYF chief social worker is 'nothing novel' fuel my concerns about the politicisation of a crucial public service," says National Party Welfare spokeswoman Katherine Rich.

"Instead of defending this kind of moonlighting, the Prime Minister should be condemning it.

"Helen Clark should be taking steps to give Shannon Pakura back to the children of New Zealand," says Mrs Rich.

"Only this morning we've heard about another serious slip-up at CYF, where a sexually abused 14-year-old boy was placed in a state home that housed young criminals, including alleged sex offenders, because CYF couldn't find a bed for him anywhere else.

"With so many problems facing the agency Shannon Pakura should be focussing all her attention on her full-time job," Mrs Rich says.

"With a nationwide shortage of social workers she's facing her own recruitment problems without helping Tariana Turia fill vacant positions in a Minister's office.

"If, as Helen Clark says, there's 'nothing novel' in the appointment why was approval sought in advance from the State Services Commission?

"There has been near unanimous condemnation of the chief social worker's dual role from those who work with the nation's at risk youth.

"And even though Labour's worked frantically to play down the affair from the very beginning, it can't let the situation continue.

"Tariana Turia can find her own staff.

"Give Shannon Pakura back to the children of New Zealand," Mrs Rich says.

Ends

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