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Labour warned against CYF/MSD merger

Judith Collins MP National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

21 April 2006

Labour warned against CYF/MSD merger

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins says official papers show strong oppostion to the proposed merger between Child Youth and Family and the Ministry of Social Development.

“Labour claimed the merger was prompted by the resignation of the CYF chief executive, but a draft media statement included in the papers shows that a damning State Services Commission review was the real catalyst for change.

“But what concerns me is the lack of any real documentation to show how this merger will improve outcomes for the vulnerable children in CYF care. “In fact, the initial advice said just the opposite.”

‘We have considered whether the capability and operational challenges which CYFS faces would be any more easily resolved in the context of a larger organisation. We do not think they would be more easily resolved and we therefore see no reason why a merger of CYFS with MSD would necessarily assist.’ - 02 Dec ‘05 State Services Commission Report to Minister of State Services.

“Also, worrying is the fact that officials initially warned that the merger would cause instability at MSD and make the Chief Executive’s job there ‘unmanageable’.

“This is staggering. These papers back up my view that the merger was simply a convenient way for Labour to claim it was doing something to fix a serious problem in a department that was swallowing up vast increases in funding with no appreciable gain.”

Ms Collins says the timed release of the official papers late on a Friday during a Parliamentary recess is also disgraceful.

“Last week Labour signed a death warrant for PlunketLine and released the news late on Friday. This week they’ve dumped reports that expose the sham decision-making process around the CYF/MSD merger. “For the second time in as many weeks Labour has shown that it lacks the courage to have an open, honest discussion about important changes that could end up costing kids their lives,” says Ms Collins.

ENDS


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