Hinekawa Case Reminds NZ of Need for Green Paper Submissions

Published: Wed 18 Jan 2012 10:31 AM
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 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.
Submitters can:
• Submit online at
• Email to
• Mail a submission to Green Paper for Vulnerable Children, PO Box 1556, Wellington 6140.
• Facebook:
• Twitter:
Have your say to help protect vulnerable children from abuse.

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