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Child Abuse Rates Outrageous

Media Release
19 September 2003

Child Abuse Rates Outrageous

New Zealand First is shocked, but not surprised, that New Zealand has one of the highest rates of child abuse in the OECD countries.

The report says New Zealand has four-to-six times the level of child abuse than the average performing country in the OECD.

“It is very disturbing and sad to have our concerns confirmed,” said New Zealand First family affairs spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“It is way past time for the Government to focus on improving the lives of children here. Recent reports show that there is a rise in families living in poverty and we are daily confronted with the excesses of drug and alcohol abuse.

“This wake up call for the New Zealand requires the Government to act immediately and work with agencies to help children in need.

“This means getting families into suitable housing, and Work and Income providing parenting classes and other help as needed.

“We see ourselves as a peaceful and caring people, this report has shown that to be wrong. We must work to change our attitude and the Government has to work to ensure that children have access to their basic rights – a good start in life.

“Surely a safe environment for our children is more important than tinkering around with FART taxes and pontificating on the world stage,” said Mrs Stewart.


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