Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Vulnerable Children Bill gains momentum

Hon Paula Bennett

Minister for Social Development

25 March 2014 Media Statement

Vulnerable Children Bill gains momentum

“The Vulnerable Children Bill marks a major overhaul in strengthening our child protection system and making sure fewer children are abused,” says Social Development Paula Bennett in welcoming the Bill’s report back.

“I am pleased the Social Services Select Committee had the chance to hear from many people who are committed to improving the lives of our most vulnerable children and protecting children from violence and neglect.

“Their input has been valuable and welcome.

“We are strengthening the accountability of five key Government agencies to work together to improve the lives of vulnerable children – the Ministries of Social Development, Education, Health and Justice, and Police.

“Children’s Teams will see professionals from all these sectors collaborating, planning and improving services to prevent the abuse in the first place.

“The first two Children’s Teams are being trialled now in Rotorua and Whangarei and are already making a difference in the lives of those families.

The Bill will also protect the subsequent children of known child abusers

“As far as I’m concerned, if you have seriously abused children in the past, you have forfeited the right to be in a position to do so again. Under the Bill, these parents would have to demonstrate they are ‘safe to parent’ if they want to care for another child.

“Some submitters have raised some important issues, and as a result I’m supporting some modifications to the Bill. These include:

• More detail of the roles and professions where safety checking of paid children’s workers will be required.

• A further 18 offences – relating to serious violent and sexual offending and objectionable material – to be added to the serious convictions that would prevent a person from working alone with or having responsibility for children in their job.

• Changes that maintain employees’ rights without compromising the safety of children by providing a five day suspension period for concerns to be addressed between an employer and a convicted person before termination can occur.

Mrs Bennett recently announced the proposed child harm prevention orders would not proceed. The select committee has recommended that the provisions for these orders be removed from the Bill.

“Vulnerable children’s lives are at stake. I know all MPs are committed to doing everything they can to see our children protected from harm and I hope they will reflect that by voting for this very important Bill,” says Mrs Bennett.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


More On Corrections

Gordon Campbell: On Putin’s Diplomatic Coup Over Syria

There’s a simple historical precedent for what is occurring in Syria. During WWII, the Allies joined forces with a known butcher and tyrant – Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union – in order to defeat a greater evil, Nazi Germany… More>>


Key 'Didn't Know': Brownlee Seeks Pandas In China

While Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee is in China pushing a taxpayer funded deal to bring two pandas to New Zealand, the country’s military look set to be hit with a pay freeze, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. More>>


Scoop Business: GCSB Willing To Extend Cyber-Attack Programme To Local ISPs

The Government Communications Security Bureau’s ‘Cortex’ cyber-security programme has been successful in helping identify and mitigate a series of cyber attacks since its introduction and an extension to cover local internet service providers is still on the cards... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Chris Brown Furore

Thank goodness Dame Tariana Turia has been able to inject a bit of common sense into the Chris Brown visa issue – her argument being that forgiveness has a place in this decision, and there is an opportunity here that should be taken... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news