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Why is Maharey Doing Nothing in Northland Mess?

Why is Maharey Doing Nothing in Northland Mess?

Thursday 8 Aug 2002 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

A survey showing non-Governmental agencies have very low confidence in CYF's ability to cope with child abuse demonstrates why the Government needs to act quickly on the Te Hau Ora O Te Tai Tokerau (THOTT) mess, ACT Social Services Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"CYF comes in for very harsh criticism in the Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa survey. Given the clear lack of faith in the Government service, it is incomprehensible why Minister Steve Maharey has failed to act in the THOTT shambles.

"Putting police on `alert' to deal with domestic violence emergencies is a dangerous development. The police are already overstretched and under-resourced. They cannot realistically cope with the 250 families who are left without the support they need. This could be a life and death situation. Children in Northland are being put at risk every day that Mr Maharey fails to act.

"I want to know how this mess developed under Mr Maharey's nose. He has known at least since May that there have been problems in Northland, yet he has failed to intervene.

"Northland needs a proper solution to sort out the mess, not a Maharey-inspired short-term deal designed simply to get the issue out of the headlines. A stopgap response that thinly spreads resources around Northland is simply not good enough.

"Mr Maharey must direct CYF to go to the police if there is any indication that resources have gone missing. He must also urgently outline his plan to support those families that THOTT should be dealing with," Dr Newman said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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