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Responsibility not Fault is the issue - Turia

“Responsibility not Fault is what we are looking for” says Turia

Tariana Turia, Maori Party Spokesperson on Social Development

Thursday 16 November 2006

Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party, today expressed concerns at reports that the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development has ‘lashed out’ at adult New Zealanders, asking them to stop blaming Government Departments for the appalling incidence of child murder in New Zealand.

Her statement followed reports of comments made yesterday by the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development, Peter Hughes.

“We hardly expect the Head of the agency in charge of the state resources for family services, to come out against the very people they are supposed to support” said Mrs Turia.

“We all need to step up to the mark to consider how we can address these issues better”.

“That includes Government and state agencies taking responsibility for the problems they can do something about”.

Mrs Turia also referred to the advice that former Chief Social Worker, Mike Doolan, has presented in his new role as Senior Fellow at Te Awatea Violence Research Centre.

“Mr Doolan has urged the state to consider the area of child homicide more thoroughly, by looking into variables such as social class and income levels, family composition and social support, housing and environmental factors” said Mrs Turia.

“Other groups, such as the Child Poverty Action Group, have warned against ‘simple, cheap solutions – the politically appealing ones' – which CPAG describes as having consequences that are as grave as the problems they set out to address” said Mrs Turia.

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“We must resist the tendency for simplistic blaming and naming of families as being at fault” said Mrs Turia.

“None of us are exempt from the crisis of family violence occurring in Aotearoa” said Mrs Turia.

“The Maori Party is forever saying we must all take a big step forward, in tackling the complex set of circumstances that lead to violence – poor health, greater gaps between rich and poor, economic hardship, a lack of material or spiritual resources to respond to stress, social deprivation, inequalities and injustice”.

“The list is long, the urgency great, and we all need to do our part in lifting the game right now” said Mrs Turia "and that includes the Ministry of Social Development".


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