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Stop Risking Lives And Take Action

Stop Risking Lives And Take Action

Monday 3 Nov 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today vowed not to sit back and allow the Government to put more innocent children's lives at risk by hiding CYF's failure in more complex bureaucracy.

"Opposition MPs are not content with Labour's plan to hide CYF's failings in paperwork and red tape. With Parliament back in session, the heat will be turned up on the department and the Government," Dr Newman said.

"The fact that the New Zealand public has become resigned to CYF's failure is an indictment of this Government's inability to keep our vulnerable children safe. Yet Labour's response is to simply build a bigger bureaucracy to hide further CYF failure from view.

"And all the while, the answer has been staring Labour in the face. Based on international best practice, the Starship Hospital-driven one stop child welfare agency had proven an effective tool for dealing with child abuse.

"However the one stop shop agency was not Labour's idea. Because it was an initiative of the previous National Government, Labour has largely ignored its potential to be the model of the future.

"Fiddling round the edges will do nothing. The Government must bite the bullet and initiate a radical reform of CYF's. Only when we have a modernised, one-stop child welfare agency - linking welfare, police, education and health, with a goal of reducing child abuse in the community - will we be able to have confidence that the Government is truly taking its responsibility to protect at risk children seriously," 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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