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CYF Acts on Paedophiles


CYF Acts on Paedophiles, Housing NZ Places Offender Beside School

ACT MP Deborah Coddington today expressed cautious optimism that a change of policy at Child, Youth and Family will mean vulnerable children are no longer placed with sexual predators, but warned that other Government agencies continued to put children at risk.

"I am relieved that chief social worker Shannon Pakura has sent a practice note to all CYF managers directing them to find cases where children are living with an adult convicted of a sexual offence of a child. Ms Pakura says children should no longer be placed in the care of convicted sex offenders, and that any case where this occurs should be brought to her attention.

"I'm sad that I had to threaten to name social workers placing children at risk before the Government agency changed its policy. Nevertheless, I congratulate Ms Pakura for her bold move.

"The job of CYF workers would be made far easier by the creation of a central register of convicted paedophiles and sex offenders. I will continue to push in Parliament for my Sex Offenders Bill to be made into law.

"I believe my Bill will stop a repetition of the situation in Northland where a convicted serial child sex offender has been released from jail and placed in a Housing New Zealand property next door to a primary school. I urge Housing New Zealand to reconsider this situation. The man has a particularly unpleasant record, with 49 offences against children under the age of 16, placed with him by Government agencies and entrusted to his care by probation services.

"I will continue to seek assurances from Social Services Minister Steve Maharey that CYF will not place children with convicted sex offenders. I do warn the Minister that if he gives assurances and I am alerted to more cases of children being placed at risk, I will not hesitate to bring them to the attention of the public," Miss Coddington said.

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