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Family First calls for resignation of Commissioner

27 June 2006

Family First calls for resignation of Children's Commissioner

The Family First Lobby is calling for the Children's Commissioner to resign, as a result of her comments regarding child abuse and the Kahui murders. (Press Release dated 27 June 2006 Commissioner for Children)

"Politicians, community leaders, and the public (through talkback radio and letters to the newspapers) have been united in identifying the contributing causes to the tragic deaths of Chris and Cru Kahui," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of the Family First Lobby.

"They have included domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, the stress on parents with new-borns, the role of welfare, transient family living, the need for tougher punishments for convicted child abusers, and what appears from the evidence presented so far, a high level of neglect. The complicity of the extended family is also a major concern."

"These are all the factors which have been identified by UNICEF in their recent report (2004) which focused on the key reasons for child abuse in OECD countries," says Mr McCoskrie. "They identified poverty and stress - along with drug and alcohol abuse - as the factors most closely and consistently associated with child abuse and neglect."

"Yet the first solution the Children's Commissioner can offer is to demand that smacking be banned!"

"This is insulting and demeaning to the vast majority of parents who are able to physically discipline their children without 'beating' them to a horrific death!" says Bob McCoskrie. "To equate parents who discipline their children with a smack, with the horrific murders of the Kahui twins is both inappropriate and unbelievable."

"It shows that the Children's Commissioner is totally out of touch with the reality of family life in NZ."

The only redeeming factor in the Commissioner's press release is her endorsement of Family First's call for better funding and support for non-government community organizations who are at the "coal face".

The Family First Lobby calls on the government to tackle the real issues of our high rates of child and domestic abuse listed above, without being distracted by the Commissioner's faulty conclusions.


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