Child abuse action plan already slammed
Thu, 23 Aug 2012 6:02a.m.
The Government's "action plan" to tackle child abuse and illness is being described as a rehash of previously-announced goals which avoid the real issues.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, Health Minister Tony Ryall and Education Minister Hekia Parata launched the Supporting Vulnerable Children Action Plan at Parliament on Wednesday.
* halting the rise in child abuse by 2017 and reducing current levels by five per cent
* increasing infant immunisation rates to 95 percent of eight-month-olds by December 2014
* reducing the incidence of rheumatic fever by two-thirds by June 2017
* increasing participation in early-childhood education to 98 percent in 2016.
The policies are not new - their funding was announced in the May budget.
Labour has replied with a statement from three of its senior MPs - social development spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern, health spokeswoman Maryan Street and early childhood education spokeswoman Sue Moroney.
"This shows the Government is out of ideas and is desperately trying to avoid the real issues facing parents and children," they said.
"It's ambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff... the Government is focusing on intervention rather than prevention."
The MPs say the government isn't dealing with the rising cost of early childhood education that cuts thousands of children out the system and isn't tackling the causes of illnesses like poor quality housing.
"Until it does, initiatives such as this will be little more than words and good intentions," they said.
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25/08/2012 8:35:44 p.m.
Trish corin wrote:
Child abuse can stop if and when the Govt does something. Perhaps we as ordinary NZ's should be ok with reporting Child Abuse and something will be done.we all know this doesn't happen,this is the major problem.Most people are too scared to do anything, how do we change this.
23/08/2012 1:53:14 p.m.
moral outrage wrote:
This govt never wants to see poverty unless it wants to use it as an excuse to scape goat and make social pariahs of the poor. They use it as a reason to remove children from parents. Poverty allegedly makes children "high risk". Why not remove poverty from families instead of removing the kids
23/08/2012 9:11:20 a.m.
National has created a huge wealth gap... the largest in the developed world, infact its even worse than Greece.
The one legacy that John Key has created is poverty and dispair.
The head of the OECD has said that our issues stem from a combination of things, the top earner tax cuts and Nationals attack on welfare recipients.
How do you expect to deal with abuse when National are the biggest abusers in the country?.
23/08/2012 7:20:58 a.m.
The heading should read Our National Shame. These rehashed policys dont work. Take a look around you and please start listening. All other parties have offerred a multi party approach WHY have you not taken them up on this. You call yourself national but you practise elitism. Have you not heard it takes a village to raise a child. Come on National be the government that people voted for. This could be your chance to change the lives of so many.
23/08/2012 7:15:21 a.m.
Repeating targets already announced does not a plan make. This is National trying to appear to be doing something without actually addressing the issue at all. How stupid do they think we are?
Is National really interested in improving the lives of New Zealand's most vulnerable children?
While there is no excuse for child abuse, we do know that one of the most significant underlying factors is poverty and social inequality.
Is National at all concerned with alleviating the poverty and economic and social stress which leads to children's sickness and abuse?
Tha National Party *reforms* of the early '90s - Ruthanasia and the Employment Contracts Act - entrenched poverty in this country, creating a permanent underclass.
If National really wanted to tackle child abuse and children's ill-health, then they would be addressing the deplorable levels of poverty in this country.
The hypocrisy of setting targets for the social sector to measure itself against is risible considering National won't even measure poverty to provide a yardstick against which to judge the (in)effectiveness of their punitive policies.
Setting some *targets* does not equal a *plan*.
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