Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Smith: Irony of care of children lost on Govt

14 September, 2004

Smith: Irony of care of children lost on Government

United Future justice spokesman Murray Smith today challenged the "irony" of legislation that puts huge accountability on parents for the welfare of their children on one hand, and then wilfully hides crucial information from them on the other.

In questioning Associate Justice Minister David Benson-Pope in Parliament today, Mr Smith asked if the Minister saw "the irony that parents of a 11-16-year-old girl are required to know whether she is fed, her whereabouts, that she is attending school, not drinking alcohol, not taking drugs and her progress at school, yet are excluded from information necessary to help them provide such care and support if she seeks an abortion or is sexually assaulted?"

Mr Smith cited the recent case of the 14-year-old Auckland girl raped and infected with a sexually transmitted disease, where the mother wasn't informed of her daughter's predicament despite still being accountable for the well being of her daughter in all other aspects of her life.

He also later pointed to the recent comments of Chief Families Commissioner, Dr Rajen Prasad, who said that families should only be shut out of their children's lives in exceptional circumstances.

"Law shouldn't be made by drawing a general rule from an exception, especially when those laws will limit parents' ability to communicate effectively with their children," Mr Smith said.

He said that the 1977 Royal Commission of Inquiry into Contraception, Sterilization and Abortion assumed that parents would have an opportunity to not only know of a girl's situation, but also participate in the child's counselling sessions.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news