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Dunne: Families the answer; not mandatory reporting

Hon Peter Dunne
MP for Ohariu
Leader of UnitedFuture

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Dunne: Families the answer; not mandatory reporting

UnitedFuture Leader Peter Dunne has welcomed the Government’s Green Paper for Vulnerable Children, but is concerned at suggestions of mandatory reporting and the impact it would have on New Zealand families.

“I am uncomfortable with the idea of mandatory reporting,” Mr Dunne said.

“It is a very blunt instrument that could lead to very troubling outcomes.

“I am concerned that mandatory reporting could lead to major rifts within our communities as people become fearful of the judgements of others,” he said.

“Imagine, as a parent, being nervous about taking your child to the doctor or dropping them off at school.

“We need to be promoting a society where families facing difficulties can open up and feel comfortable asking for help without fear of retribution.

“The number one thing we can do to protect our children is to give parents the tools to raise them in a safe, caring and positive environment, and I do not think mandatory reporting contributes to that,” Mr Dunne said.

“For too long we have had a narrow and somewhat pointless debate in this country over the form of our families, and what impact those forms have on the outcomes for our children.

“The fact is vulnerable children are a product of dysfunctional families, no matter what form they come in.

“What we need to be focused on is the functions of those families, not what shape and size they are. Parents deserve government support, not the fear of mandatory reporting and prying eyes,” he said.


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