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Parenting orders, good idea; we’ve had it for age

Media Statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 22 March 2005

Dunne: Parenting orders - good idea; we’ve had it for ages

United Future has consistently - and as recently as Friday - called for parents to be held more accountable for their children’s behaviour, the party’s leader, Peter Dunne, said today in saying the party essentially backed National’s call for parenting orders.

“In fact, it’s such a good idea, we are on the record as having consistently called for this for some time now. It appears that it is only new to the media!” he said.

“So, yes, National’s parenting orders are a good idea - but its hardly theirs and theirs alone,” Mr Dunne said in renewing Friday’s call for parents to be held accountable for their children’s truancy.

“We again called for a database to track children through schools so they don’t fall between the cracks, and fort he shifting of responsibility back on to parents for truancy.

“United Future would provide for education authorities to seek 'parenting orders', requiring the parents of chronic truants to attend parenting classes, as well 'parenting contracts', whereby the parent and the school agree on steps they will take to improve the child's behaviour.

To emphasise the fact that children must attend school by law, United Future would also increase the fine for parents from $15 a day to $18 a day for primary and $27 a day for secondary students, since this is how much it costs the taxpayer per pupil regardless of whether they attend or not.

In Parliament last week, United Future also raised the issue of abuses of the family group conference system in the youth justice system.

“First we publicly released information that shows the system is being utterly rorted, with some teens having anything from five to 11 conferences and basically playing a game - and then to make it worse, we cornered the Government which had to admit that follow-through on the outcomes of these conferences is virtually non-existent.

“So, yes, United Future backs moves that hold parents to account, but also moves that support parents in what is the toughest job out there,” Mr Dunne said.

Ends.

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