The Government would look closely at the role of primary health care and its effectiveness in preventing child abuse,
after two recent cases involving toddlers, Prime Minister Helen Clark said today.
Child Youth And Family today revealed that they had approved the grandmother as the caregiver of a two-year-old baby
girl in Whangarei. Police have today charged the grandmother, Patricia Billy Bissett, with assault. The child remains in
serious condition in Auckland’s Starship Hospital.
Meanwhile, Masterton police are continuing to investigate last week’s death of a 23-month-old toddler from Carterton, by
taking blood samples from a local kohanga reo and a house where she spent her last hours.
Speaking after the Cabinet's Monday press conference, Miss Clark said the Government’s role would be to consider the
role of primary health care and whether it could have prevented child abuse in these situations.
She had not yet been fully made up-to-date about the Whangarei case, but would continue to monitor both situations
closely, she said.