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Bailey Kurariki's CYF File Shows Inquiry Needed

Bailey Kurariki's CYF File Shows Inquiry Needed

ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today renewed her call for an independent investigation into what involvement Child, Youth and Family had with convicted murderer Bailey Kurariki.

"Answers to my parliamentary questions reveal more reasons for concern.

"Mr Maharey has revealed to me that the state agency first intervened in Bailey's life in November 1996, when it ensured that education and health support was in place for him, and then closed the file.

"Bailey was again referred to CYF in May 1999. Mr Maharey says, "Department social workers and people from other agencies continued to work with Bailey and his parents from May 1999 to the present day." Mr Maharey reveals that Bailey took part in three family group conferences, signed two family/whänau agreements and was subject to an interim custody order.

"The Minister of Social Services and Employment reveals that the primary aim was to "change Bailey Kurariki's behaviours and continue his education". Given that Bailey had reportedly not attended school for two years before murdering Michael Choy, this intervention appears to have been ineffective.

"This case has raised serious concerns about the capability of CYF in dealing with children in serious trouble. The state agency's confused dual roles of caring for children and correcting misbehaviour appear to be in conflict.

"Mr Maharey has received three reports on CYF involvement with Bailey - on September 18 2001, September 20 2001 and August 26 2002. None of the reports have been made public.

"I am calling for an independent investigation of CYF's involvement with Bailey. That investigation needs to be made public so that New Zealand families have confidence in the actions of the Minister and his department. If the Minister and his department have failed to act appropriately with incredibly tragic results, the public needs to know," Dr Newman said.

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