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Simcock Calls For End To Govt Indifference

National's Social Services spokesman Bob Simcock is calling on the Government to reconsider its stance on a major conference on mandatory reporting, which will take place in Parliament a week from today.

"The Government has chosen to blacklist the 'Stop the Hurt' conference but more than 100 representatives of community agencies and professional groups from all over New Zealand are set to participate in, and benefit from, the discussions," Mr Simcock said today.

The one-day conference will examine the pros and cons of mandatory reporting as a possible means of reducing the incidence of child abuse. But the Government isn't taking part - with Social Services Minister Steve Maharey also banning CYFS Chief Social Worker Mike Doolan from attending.

"I would like to re-extend the invitation to Mr Doolan and the Minister. It seems senseless for the Government to turn its back on an issue which touches the very core of our society.

"More than a dozen speakers will address the conference - representing the views of a range of agencies including Barnados, Parentline, Family Start groups, Womens Refuge and the professional bodies for Paediatricians and GPs.

"In addition there will be ample opportunities for questions, observations and discussion groups.

"I have emphasised from the beginning, and would like to re-emphasise, that this is a non-partisan conference, with no political agenda.

"I have invited representatives of all of those parties, not to speak, but to listen. If Mr Maharey is not willing to listen then that is not just his loss, it is a loss for all of the families who rely on their Government to create a society which is safe for children," Bob Simcock said.

Ends

A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.


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