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Action not lip service needed on reports

Judith Collins MP National Party Family Spokeswoman

12 November 2003

Action not lip service needed on reports

"The Children's Commissioner must be congratulated on the work done to uncover the failures of Government agencies in a report on the deaths of two Masterton sisters," says National Party Family spokeswoman Judith Collins.

"The Office of the Commissioner has compiled a detailed review into the deaths of Saliel and Olympia Aplin that makes for tragic reading.

"It's a sad indictment on the state of our nation and more importantly, it gives us a horrific snap-shot of a family in crisis, and a system that is becoming immune to the shocking levels of violence in our society.

"Neither CYF nor the Police are to blame for this double tragedy, but each played a part and those involved will have to live with their own demons," Ms Collins says.

"However, there are lessons that must be learned, and the Government should take on board the comments of Charlene Aplin who said 'my girls' lives have to mean something'.

"The Government must resist its instincts to find a scapegoat or point the finger of blame, it should instead accept the findings with dignity and act," she says.

"The Commissioner's previous report into the death of James Whakaruru, went the same way as Judge Mick Brown's CYF review of 2001, which was largely shelved as more children became the victims of violence and abuse.

"It's truly unfortunate that the self appointed 'family' Party, United Future has decided to score political points on the deaths of these girls. It's simply obscene to suggest the Families Commission as proposed, would have made one iota of difference in this case.

"National is urging the Government to carefully consider the recommendations in the two reports out today. The time for buck passing has passed, it's time for action," says Ms Collins.

Ends

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