13 August 2013
Care Needed with Child Abuse Policy
UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne is wary of plans to ban suspected child abusers from being near children for up to 10
“I fully understand and support the government’s efforts to halt the scourge of child abuse, as New Zealand has a
horrible and unenviable record in that regard, but it is important we take steps that are both credible and fair.
“The sentiment behind the 10 year ban is noble, but the practicalities of enforcing it make it difficult, with the risk
that the provision becomes more honoured in the breach.
“While I have no problem at all with a ban being applied to convicted child abusers, the ‘balance of probabilities’ test
for suspected child abusers is risky,” he says.
Mr Dunne says that while he expects the government’s proposals to attract strong support, there needs to be full public
discussion and consideration of their likely impacts before legislation is passed.
“The legislation has to be workable and credible to avoid the risk of positive change being derailed by unintended
consequences,” he says.