Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


New Child Protection Measures Announced

New Child Protection Measures Announced

Scoop Audio+Video+Photos

By Hamish Cardwell

13August 2013

The government has announced sweeping new legislation to protect children from abuse.

At a press conference in Wellington today Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett laid out plans which included barring suspected and convicted child abusers from having access to children.

The new rules would allow judges to ban, for up to 10 years, where people who had committed sexual or violent offences could live, work and socialise.

Mrs Bennett said parents who who abused their children would have to prove to Child Youth and Family that they were no longer a threat before they would be allowed to care for new children.

“Currently, the onus is on the State to prove that the abusive parent is unsafe, we are reversing that,” she said.

The courts would be allowed to restrict the guardianship rights of birth parents in cases of severe neglect and abuse.

More than 300,000 Government employees - including contractors, members of Boards of Trustees, health board employees, and government funded agencies - who come into contact with children, would screened to ensure they are suitable, she said.

Police, Justice and the Ministries of Health, Education and Social Development will have new responsibilities under the legislation.

Yesterday, Prime Minister John Key signaled that there would be an announcement on child protection and said the changes would ruffle feathers.

“We make no apologies for these changes, which will be controversial to some,” the Prime Minister said.

The changes are included in the Vulnerable Children Bill and will be introduced to parliament next month.

Full audio of the press conference below:


Click a link to play audio (or right-click to download) in either
MP3 format or in OGG format.



(Video available from 4pm)



© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Keith Rankin: Liberal Democracy In The New Neonationalist Era: The Three 'O's
The proposed ‘New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme’ (‘the scheme’) has attracted strong debate among the more left-wing and liberal groupings, within New Zealand-Aotearoa. This debate should be seen as a positive rather than negative tension because of the opportunity to consider and learn from the implications and sharpen advocacy... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Words Matter, Prime Minister
Words matter, especially when uttered by politicians. History is littered with examples of careless or injudicious words uttered by politicians coming back to haunt them, often at the most awkward of times. During the 1987 election campaign, when electoral reform was a hot issue, Prime Minister David Lange promised to have a referendum on the electoral system... More>>

Dunne Speaks: New Zealanders' Ongoing Quest For Security

In many ways, the essential story of New Zealand over the last hundred years or so has been our search for security. Whether it be security from want, or unemployment, homelessness, or cultural alienation, it has always been a constant theme which has occupied the minds of successive governments over the years... More>>

Digitl: Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy
Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa. Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Leaking For Roe V Wade
The US Supreme Court Chief Justice was furious. For the first time in history, the raw judicial process of one of the most powerful, and opaque arms of government, had been exposed via media – at least in preliminary form. It resembled, in no negligible way, the publication by WikiLeaks of various drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership... More>>

The Conversation: Cheaper food comes with other costs – why cutting GST isn't the answer

As New Zealand considers the removal of the goods and services tax (GST) from food to reduce costs for low income households, advocates need to consider the impact cheap food has on the environment and whether there are better options to help struggling families... More>>