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PC Police Attacking Parents

PC Police Attacking Parents

Friday 3rd Sep 1999
Muriel Newman
Media Release -- Social Welfare

A suggestion from the Children, Young Persons and their Families Service
that parents should seek permission from teenage children before getting
information on them must not be taken too far according to ACT Social
Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman.

"In the journal 'Social Work Now', CYPFA's acting lawyer, Stewart
Bartlett suggests a person, even if a parent or guardian, seeking
information on a teenager, should get the child's consent first", said Dr
Newman. "He then goes on to say that 'the public interest which justifies
the release of information about children to their guardians will lessen as
the child's right to determine the passage of information about themselves

"While that suggestion is possibly sensible for teenagers in abusive and
at risk family situations, it should not be taken too far. Applying
it in a widespread sense will simply drive a wedge between family members,
making the already difficult job of parenting even more difficult.

"Being a parent is hard enough these days without the State's 'PC
Police' undermining your role. Children are now being taught that they
have 'rights', but all too often the responsibilities that accompany
those rights, are neglected.

"Over the last couple of years we have heard dreadful stories of
teenagers refusing to let parents see their school reports, and avoiding
telling them about serious medical problems. More recently there have
been more and more cases of children threatening to take action when their
parents try to set down boundaries.

"The teenage years are difficult for both children and parents, but
with understanding, support and clear values, most families manage to pull
through. The last thing parents need however, is the state, in the name
of political correctness, interfering and undermining their role.

Dr Newman said that the state does not raise children well, and rather
than undermining the role and rights of parents, government should be
committed to strengthening families, and supporting them in their vital
role of raising the next generation of New Zealanders.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact
the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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