Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Child safety takes precedence over whanau-first

It doesn't always make sense to me how Ministers manage news releases. Here's the latest from Paula Bennett. It kicks off with another innovative idea:

KiwiSaver for kids in care

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has announced measures to better support children as they move out of State care and into independence.
“While on my U.S Eisenhower fellowship, I was impressed with savings accounts set up for children in care and saw an opportunity with KiwiSaver.”
“New Zealand children in care generally don’t have family who can sign them up to Kiwisaver, but being enrolled will help them later in life and send a message that their future matters,” says Mrs Bennett.

But the most important message appears at the end of the press release:

The Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act will be amended to clarify the intended prominence of section 13(a) that children must be protected from harm, their rights upheld and their welfare promoted.
In his 2010 report into the serious abuse of a nine year old girl, Mel Smith noted section 5 of the CYPF Act (which says where possible the relationship to family should be maintained) often takes precedence over section 13.
“Mel Smith said this is possibly to the detriment of the safety, welfare and interests of the child, so I think we need to strengthen the core purpose of the Act which is to put the needs of the child first,” says Mrs Bennett.

Let me put it simply.

Child safety takes precedence over whanau-first.


PM of NZ said...

Next thing you know the taxpayer will be topping up a compulsory KiwiSlaver account for each of the rugrats of parents on the dole. It'll be a human right no doubt.

Anonymous said...

Child safety takes precedence over whanau-first.

Or to put it another - less racist - way:

children don't belong to their parents: they belong to the state.

Are you sure you agree with that, Lindsay? Really sure?

Lindsay Mitchell said...

That's a ridiculous interpretation. The case under review was horrendous.

Even a libertarian believes the state has a role in protecting human life. Where a parent poses significant danger to their child, and no other family member can or will take responsibility, the state has to intervene.

I used the term whanau-first as opposed to family-first because it tends to be Maori leaders (Turei and Turia) who promote that policy.