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Smith: CYFS puts kids in gangs' hands

Media Statement For immediate release Thursday, 4 March, 2004

Smith: CYFS puts kids in gangs' hands

Gangs actively recruiting for new members are doing CYFS-sanctioned community and youth work around Porirua while upstanding community groups are told to go take a running jump, United Future's Murray Smith said in Parliament today.

In challenging Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson, Mr Smith asked if the Government could condone putting the well being of young New Zealanders in the hands of gangs.

"Is it any wonder that social problems are getting no better when we put gang members in charge of the well-being of our young people," he said.

"Meanwhile we have Porirua Rongopai Trust, which provides valuable parenting programmes, youth activities and other assistance to needy families, being told by CYFS officials that their funding will be cut.

"This is woolly thinking from a government department that is dying a slow death - and in danger of taking some of this nation's children with it.

"You don't need to be a genius to work out that kids and gangs don't mix unless you've got a State that is hell-bent on nurturing the next generation of gang-members.

"Let's have a little common sense please," Mr Smith said.

Ends.


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