Hinekawa Case Reminds NZ of Need for Green Paper Submissions – Norm Hewitt
“Only two weeks into 2012 and a child died from what are believed to be non-accidental injuries,” said Norm Hewitt, one
of three Champions for the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children.
Mr Hewitt is commenting on the death of two month old Hinekawa Topia, one of a set of triplets from Whanganui.
“While an investigation is on-going into what has led to Hinekawa’s death, an autopsy has shown her head injuries appear
to be non-accidental. New Zealanders will be feeling saddened by her death, and angry that another child has died from
non-accidental injuries. If they feel like there’s nothing they can do to help, there is – they can say something on the
Green Paper for Vulnerable Children.
“The Green Paper looks at how we as a country support our children, and asks what we can change to make their lives
better. We estimate that 160,000 Kiwi children are considered ‘vulnerable’, meaning factors in their lives reduce their
chances of reaching their full potential. The Government wants each and every New Zealander to say what they think needs
to be done to change the story for our vulnerable children.
“We don’t know the details of Hinekawa’s life, or the circumstances that led to her death, but her death appears to be
another reminder that we, as a country, need to take a long hard look at why our children are so vulnerable, and how we
can address and redress those issues.
“I urge all New Zealanders to go to www.saysomething.org.nz
and say what they think will change the story for our children. While the Green Paper asks for views on specific
questions, submitters are free to write about whatever they think will make a difference, even if it’s not mentioned in
the Green Paper. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have to say – the important thing is that you say something to help protect our children better.
“We are now just over a fortnight into 2012 and we’re still saying ‘Happy New Year’ to our friends, family and
colleagues. I urge all New Zealanders to say something on the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children and make 2012 truly a
happy year for our tamariki.”
The Green Paper for Vulnerable Children was released by the Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett, in July last
year. Submissions are open until 28 February, after which the submissions will be used to inform the creation of a White Paper, or Children’s Action Plan, due for
release later in 2012.
• Mail a submission to Green Paper for Vulnerable Children, PO Box 1556, Wellington 6140.
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/greenpapernz
Have your say to help protect vulnerable children from abuse. www.saysomething.org.nz