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Thousands debate child abuse solutions

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development and Youth Affairs

27 January 2012

Thousands debate child abuse solutions

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is delighted with the response to the Green Paper both in terms of turn out and contributions.

“I have been fronting up and listening to a huge range of New Zealanders from local iwi in Whangarei to staff in the lunch room at Carter Holt Harvey, to a children's panel in the Waikato,” says Ms Bennett.

The Minister’s Green Paper tour which started in Kaitaia will end in Invercargill with meetings in 17 towns and cities including all of New Zealand’s main centres.

The Green Paper camper van is also visiting 32 destinations nationwide and Green Paper Champions have held public meetings across the country to stimulate debate and encourage submissions.

Meetings have been held in community centres, theatres, offices, lunch rooms and meeting places. Many have been so well attended that there has been standing room only.

"For some it’s been emotional and even frustrating at times, but that’s the nature of things when we're dealing with uncomfortable issues,” says Ms Bennett.

People can make submissions on the Green Paper in a number of ways including attending meetings, stopping at the Green Paper camper van, posting on Facebook, email or post.

Submissions now total 1,275 and with the close date of 28 February fast approaching they are flowing in at an increasing rate.

Nelson, Blenheim and Kaikoura will be hosting meetings with the Minister on Thursday next week and final dates for the rest of the South Island are to be publicised shortly.

“This is genuine public consultation, people’s views on these issues are important and all submissions will contribute to a White Paper and a ten year plan to better protect and nurture our most vulnerable children.”


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