Labour Failed To Help Teenage Drug Patients
King's And Maharey's Offices Failed To Help Teenage Drug
United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the reaction of the Ministers of Health and Social Services to the plight of young teenage Drug patients needing treatment at Queen Mary Hospital is "regrettable and unfortunate."
Both Ministers say they have no record of the cases because Mr Dunne has not provided the details to them.
"These are regrettable comments by both Ministers, because the notes provided to me show that, in at least one of the cases, contact was made right at the outset with both Ministers' offices by the family concerned, but to no avail."
"Mr Maharey's office simply told the family it was a matter for the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services to sort out, and Mrs King's office said it was a matter for Alcohol and Drug Services to resolve."
"For both Ministers to now be saying that had they known of the problem things might have been different is rewriting history, and smacks more of covering their backs."
"I approached the Commissioner for Children for help, precisely because of inter-agency failure, and the apparent lack of interest from the Ministers' offices."
"I wanted action for these kids, not more platitudes," Mr Dunne says.
Mr Dunne says he is prepared to take up both cases with the two Ministers If they are serious about resolving them, and if they will receive more thorough consideration than the last time they were raised with the Ministers' offices.
"I am pleased the Ministers now appear interested, but am sad it has taken public attention for this to happen."
"However, it is important to remember that this issue goes beyond these two cases."
"Both families have made it clear to me that what we need now are clear policy guidelines to make sure that this type of situation never arises again, and that no more families will ever have to go through what they have gone through."
"I hope the interest now being shown by Mrs King and Mr Maharey will lead to real changes being made," Mr Dunne says.