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Powers For Commissioner For Children A Worry

Enlarged Powers For The Commissioner For Children A Real Worry

“Every New Zealand family should fear government interference in home life,” warned Party Leader Graham Capill, following the enlarged powers bestowed by parliament on the Office for the Commissioner for Children.

Mr Capill said, “Those fears were not allayed last night when Roger McClay, the Children’s Commissioner, said on Late Edition, TV1 News, ‘I will meddle like hell in the affairs of families’. While we all want to stop child abuse, the government has no role to ‘meddle’ in the running of families.”

“The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has many good aspects. The problem is the ‘rights’ the Convention guarantees all children. They may well drive a legal wedge between parents and children, turning the home into a battlefield.

“Most teenage children go through a period where they push the limits with their parents. This legislation will allow them to use the law in a way that could be detrimental to their own and their family’s well-being. Parents will have to be careful, for example, when imposing restrictions as to whom their children associate with and on what they read because the Convention guarantees them freedom of association and the right to ‘read literature of all sorts’.

“The government has its priorities wrong. These increased powers amount to police at the bottom of the cliff (not even an ambulance), instead of promoting positive public policies which would encourage family cohesion and identify and deal with problems long before they reached crisis proportions,” Mr Capill concluded.

END

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