INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZ ignoring root cause of Wairarapa murder, abuse

Published: Thu 6 Dec 2001 09:49 AM
5 December 2001
NZ ignoring root cause of Wairarapa murder and abuse cases
“When will New Zealand stop paying lip service to being concerned about child abuse and deal with its root cause?” asked Party Leader Graham Capill following revelations that the murder of two Wairarapa girls was allegedly carried out by their step-father.
People are asking, ‘what is wrong with the Wairarapa?’ given its seemingly endless record of child abuse and child murder cases. Mr Capill points out that the core issue seems to be family breakdown.
“I find New Zealanders don’t want to face that issue because it affects so many. Focusing on marriage break-up and its impact on children is not politically correct. Yet it is precisely these mixed up relationships that seem to attract child abuse at rates far higher than bonded relationships.
“Until society and indeed the government is prepared to recognise that marriage break-up and casual sexual relationships are major contributors to child abuse and murder, more sad cases will continue to be reported on the evening news.
“Programmes to help young people to see the importance and value of stable relationships are required. Also parenting programmes are needed to ensure young married people become good parents. Children need better role models. Divorce laws need to make it more difficult to walk out on commitments made. Legislation needs to be passed that encourages life-long marriage and family friendly initiatives, such as ensuring more time is devoted to family life. Only then,” concluded Mr Capill, “will we be showing that we are serious about trying to prevent these tragedies from reoccurring.”
The CHP wants to establish a Ministry of Family Affairs to help build stronger family life in New Zealand and ensure that legislation passed is compatible with this. It also wants to introduce financial packages to benefit the traditional family unit. These measures should go some way to alleviate financial pressure on the family and ensure that parents can give more time to their children.
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