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CYF abandons 13 children in bush

Anne Tolley MP
National Party Associate Welfare (CYF) Spokeswoman

8 April 2008

CYF abandons 13 children in bush

Revelations that the Minister of Social Development has done nothing despite knowing for months about a family with thirteen children living wild in countryside near Wairoa must be cause for huge alarm, says National's Associate Welfare (CYF) spokeswoman, Anne Tolley.

"The parents, along with their 13 children aged one to 16, have nowhere to live and have created a rough campsite at Tiniroto. It has no drinking water, no toilets, and no cooking facilities except an open fire.

"It took two months for CYF to even acknowledge my concerns, and they then had the temerity to suggest the case did 'not present as an imminent danger or threat, and has not met the thresholds for Family Court intervention to date.'

"These children have not been in school since August 2007, have inadequate clothing for their circumstances, and are at risk of serious health problems with the onset of winter.

"It is astonishing that CYF's only action is to try to set up a family group conference which the parents say they will not support and will no doubt try to avoid.

"This is a clear case of neglect and these children have only CYF to rely on. There is no one else to help them.

"It is beyond belief that they are refusing to do so."

ENDS

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