MANA raises concerns about Vulnerable Children Bill

Published: Wed 18 Sep 2013 08:58 AM
MANA raises concerns about Vulnerable Children Bill
Hone Harawira, MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau
Tuesday 17 September 2013
“MANA supports any measure to protect children from abuse” says Hone Harawira, MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau. “And on that basis, we’ll support the government’s Vulnerable Children Bill to select committee.
“But there’s a whole range of problems with the Bill that I’ll be keeping tabs on.
“Government wants to up the reporting of child abuse, even though Child Youth and Family admit that they haven’t even got the resources to deal with their current caseload” said Harawira.
“They’re talking about vetting hundreds of thousands of government workers, which is going to cost millions in itself, without even knowing if it will actually help protect our kids.
“And they want to sack anyone accused of offending against children - no investigation, no trial, no appeal - that’s a recipe for persecution if ever I heard one, and no guarantee that kids will be better protected.
“And all of that simply reinforces the belief that government is happy to take the stick to poor families, but won’t help them by increasing the minimum wage, or investing in job creation, or backing a feed the kids programme in schools, or even letting them stay in their state houses.
“I don’t doubt that the Minister is sincere in wanting to protect vulnerable children, but it all rings hollow when her government’s only measures are all punitive.
“I’ll back the Bill at first reading, but I’ll be watching to see whether or not the concerns I’ve raised here are dealt with before I vote at the second reading.

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