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Inquiry call after CYF blunder

Katherine Rich
National Party MP

09 September 2005

Inquiry call after CYF blunder

National Party MP Katherine Rich is demanding a full inquiry into reports that CYF took three months before officially reporting a missing child to police.

"There is a chilling sense of déjà vu in this case. CYF did not report to police that 13-year-old Otis Auela was missing for two days. I am informed CYF did not officially report to police that 15-year-old Israel McNulty was missing for three months!"

Mrs Rich is referring to the case of 15-year-old Dunedin boy Israel McNulty who was placed by CYF in the care of the Wairaka Kokiri Trust of Whakatane on or about 5/6 May. Two days later on 8 May, Israel ran away.

According to police, neither CYF nor the trust made a missing persons report to the police. A missing persons report to police was finally made on August 8 2005, some three months later.

"I have great sympathy for the police who have had to begin their investigation long after the trail has gone cold. CYF cannot point the finger at the Trust or anyone else. The responsibility to report to police when a child under CYF's watch goes missing never shifts from the department.

"The fact that a child can be missing for three months and not reported to the police is an unforgivable disgrace.

"Ruth Dyson should stop chanting about the department's 'culture of performance excellence'. Stuff-ups like this make comments like that a sick joke.

"Ms Dyson should do the right thing and order a full inquiry into CYF's handling of Israel's case. It must be an independent inquiry, not an internal snow-job which fails to ask the tough questions or hold anyone to account," says Mrs Rich.

ENDS

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