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Child Abuse Becoming Endemic

3 August 2006

Child Abuse Becoming Endemic

"Unfortunately it’s business as usual in New Zealand this week," says New Zealand First’s spokesperson for the family, Barbara Stewart.

"Court reports of another toddler battered to death and the release of yet another critical report demonstrate all too clearly that this country is no longer one of the best places in the world to bring up children.

“In response we have the unveiling of campaigns, action plans, taskforces, studies and more criticism of CYFS, which is often the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

"However until there is a serious attempt to deal with the poverty into which too many families, particularly Maori and Pacific Island, are sinking, no amount of talking is going to resolve this national dilemma.

“Poverty breeds disadvantage and while there are families in this country who cannot afford to provide their children with proper medical or dental care, adequate clothing and satisfactory housing we will continue to pay the price in social costs.

"Payouts such as Working for Families have done nothing to better the circumstances of children in families who exist on either minimum wages or benefits.

“Our failure to improve the lives of children in struggling families in order to break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage will result in tragic headlines for years to come,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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