27 – 31 July 2007

31 July 2007 – Gordon Copeland – Band-Aid solutions not enough on child abuse


Band-Aid solutions not enough on child abuse
Tuesday, 31 July 2007, 11:39 am
Press Release: Gordon Copeland

Independent MP Gordon Copeland believes that the Government’s Band-Aid approach to child abuse represents a massive policy failure that needs to be changed and fast.

“When it comes to child abuse the evidence clearly points to the root cause as being the break down of the family unit,” said Mr Copeland.

“Fatherlessness is now endemic in New Zealand and nowhere more so than amongst Maori. Some 55% of all Maori children are in fact growing up without a dad at home. That needs to change.”

“It is actually hard to think of a recent child abuse case in New Zealand where the offender was the biological father of the child. Typically the abuse is carried out by a male who is the boyfriend of the child’s mother.”

“We need a fence at the top of the cliff approach. Ideally this would involve government subsidies for courses addressing fatherhood, marriage preparation, marriage enrichment and parenting courses across the spectrum from prenatal to teenage years.”

“Courses need to be delivered at the grass roots level and specifically targeted to reach those who most need them; especially young Maori males.”


“The overarching policy goal should be a total transformation of family life in New Zealand so that all children are raised in a safe, loving and caring environment – ideally by a married couple.”

“All of this is really just commonsense. It was clear to practically everyone except the ideological zealots that Sue Bradford’s Smacking Bill would have absolutely no impact at all on the rates of child abuse in New Zealand. The Bill is trite and superficial in the extreme and it is time to look at evidence based policies which get down to the underlying realities if New Zealand’s shameful record on child abuse is going to be changed.”


31 July 2007 – Stuff – Abused children expelled from kindy for violence


Abused children expelled from kindy for violence
By KATHY WEBB – The Dominion Post | Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Some abused children are becoming so violent they are being expelled from kindergarten or infant classes at school, a Hawke’s Bay paediatrician says.

Russell Wills, the clinical director of maternal, children and youth health at Hawke’s Bay Hospital, said the effects of violence against children and their mothers went much deeper than physical injuries.

“The focus is on shaken babies and broken bones,” he said.

That was serious enough, but a wider and deeper problem was emerging, that of violent children unable to trust adults or relate to other people.

He was dealing daily with children who had developed severe psychological problems that became permanent if not treated while they were infants or toddlers.

“By the time a child is 10 you’ve missed the boat.”

It was becoming common for children to be expelled from kindergarten or the first two years of primary schooling, Dr Wills said.

Their parents were often poor, estranged from their own families, with little support and few parenting skills.

Violence was often the only way they knew how to react.

That spilled over into hospital wards, where parents fought and fathers threatened staff, Dr Wills said.

In one week he had had to have two fathers kept from the serious care baby unit and the children’s ward.

Hawke’s Bay health board’s development of a strategy to tackle the region’s high rate of child and domestic violence had worked so well that levels of reporting had rocketed.

Dr Wills expected 2500 Hawke’s Bay youngsters would be referred to social welfare services this year, 300 of them by the hospital.

Staff had been trained to identify abuse and ask direct questions about it.

“There’s a 50 per cent likelihood that if Mum is being beaten, the kids are, and if the kids are being beaten, there’s a 50 per cent chance Mum is too.”

Domestic violence referrals had increased from 40 a year to 120 as a result of directly confronting women.

The strategy, called the Hawke’s Bay Family Intervention Programme, had proven so successful it is to be launched nationwide tomorrow by the Health Ministry.

The Napier-based Sensible Sentencing Trust announced yesterday it was creating a unit within its ranks to push for zero tolerance and tougher jail sentences for child abusers.

Spokesman Garth McVicar said jail terms for people killing or abusing their children had been woefully inadequate.

“Our children are unable to defend themselves and Parliament seems to have put this problem in the too-hard basket, and judges are ignoring the public’s cry for deterrent sentences to protect our children,” he said.

30 July 2007 – nzherald – Your Views


What can be done about NZ’s child abuse problem?
1:26PM Monday July 30, 2007

Your Views

What do you think of Labour’s chances of being re-elected?
Should players questioning referees at the World Cup be penalised?

Send us your views

The Prime Minister has today voiced her concern over the grave issue of child abuse.

A second Rotorua child – a 12-week-old baby – is in the Starship with suspicious head injuries.

What can be done to solve the country’s escalating child abuse problem? Here is the latest selection of Your Views:

Let the New Zealand Herald know your views here and read online others views:

30 July 2007 – Family First – Our Silence is Killing Us

Our Silence is Killing Us

Each week another New Zealand child’s life is extinguished or damaged because violent parents or caregivers will not meet or can not cope with their responsibilities.

We are sick and tired of doing nothing while our babies and children are being abused and murdered.

When our families are messed up, our nation is messed up.

Please forward this letter to as many people as possible

Read what happened to little 3 year old Nia from Rotorua who lies in Starship Hospital at the moment


Read what happened to 3 year old Ngati from Otara, and the pathetic punishment his mum and step-dad received


Read a 5 point action plan, designed to get the problem away from Politics and political agendas, and into the hands of local communities and organisations.


YES! You can do something…

1. Download and print off the petition forms demanding a Referendum on Child Abuse , and opposing the politicians’ response to child abuse of criminalising good parents!

Pass it around the office, neighbourhood, church, community organisation – and send it in as soon as possible.



Don’t let it be ‘swept under the carpet’ like the Kahui case.

2. Please forward this letter to as many people as possible

Our silence is deafening and our children are suffering.

No More.

http://www.familyfirst.org.nz | About us | Media Centre | Contact Us | Support Us |

28 JULY 2007 – Family First – 5-Point Action Plan to Tackle Child Abuse

28 JULY 2007

5-Point Action Plan to Tackle Child Abuse

Family First NZ has released a 5-point Action Plan to tackle the high rates of child abuse in NZ.

“The recent Rotorua case which has shocked the nation, in a similar way to the Kahui case, highlights the need for drastic action in this area,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

The Action Plan includes:

1. establishing a non-political Commission of Inquiry comprising community leaders who are working with at-risk families to identify causes of child abuse and effective solutions, and examining specifically the role of drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown, race-based issues and poverty in these high rates.

2. an immediate increase of support and resourcing to grass-root community organisations who are working with at-risk families attempting to stop abuse in the first place – for example HIPPY Foundation, Early Start, Family Help Trust and other early childhood home-based programmes

3. an increased investment in parenting organisations such as Parents Inc and other community based positive parenting programmes.

4. a media-based anti-child abuse campaign, in the same way road afety ‘shock’ campaigns are run, raising the awareness of and encouraging ‘positive’ parenting and identifying what is abuse

5. sentencing for those who abuse and kill our children to be substantially increased to provide both a deterrent and a clear message of our community’s disgust with the actions of people who abuse children.

Desparate times call for desparate actions,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“The Children’s Commissioner denies the need for an Inquiry yet the best she can offer is a ban on smacks and wasting time and resources ‘auditing’ good families. Meanwhile the horrendous abuse continues.”

“And the politicians, by spending so much time and energy on section 59 have also shown that they are unwilling and unable to deal with real causes of child abuse. Their cross-party committee to tackle child abuse after the Kahui case self-destructed.”

“Child abuse is greater than any political agenda, will require a huge amount of honesty, and must be owned and solved by New Zealanders.”

“Our silence and inaction has been killing us. No more.”


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:
Bob McCoskrie
Tel. 09 261 2426 | Mob. 027 55 555 42

27 July 2007 – For The Sake Of Our Children – Rankin calls for an ‘Honest Debate On Child Abuse


Rankin calls for an ‘Honest Debate On Child Abuse
Friday, 27 July 2007, 2:24 pm
Press Release: For The Sake Of Our Children
‘Children’s Advocate’ Christine Rankin calls for an ‘Honest and Courageous Debate on Child Abuse’

Media Release
27 July 2007

Christine Rankin, CEO For the Sake of our Children Trust and Family First NZ agree that there should be an independent Inquiry into child abuse in New Zealand.

“I’m absolutely sick of it,” says Christine Rankin, CEO of For the Sake of our Children. “When you’re in the kind of arena we’re in, you wait week by week for this to happen again. You can almost count on it now.”

“It seems we can’t take it seriously. We get very upset by high-profile cases like this Rotorua case and the Kahui’s, but there’s a barrier that means we can’t talk about the real issues – that barrier is political correctness.”

“The real issues are being masked. Maori feature hugely in the child abuse statistics, yet this fact is something that we’re not allowed to talk about and when I’ve raised this issue before, I’ve been accused of being racist.”

“I’m not racist. I’m simply stating the facts. Are we honest enough to tell the truth?”

“Approximately 60% of child abuse is in Maori families yet they represent only 15% of the population.”

Rankin questions why Maori leaders aren’t speaking up more strongly on this issue.

“They are leaving a legacy to their people and to this country – they deny that it is a real issue, talk around it, and any Maori leader who speaks up on this seems to quickly withdraw from their strong and courageous stance. Why won’t they fight this issue?”

“There are also no repercussions for child abuse. The recent sentencing of an Otara couple to four years each for beating a child to death is disgraceful. There is no responsibility and no consequences.”

The OECD and CYF reports consistently identify drug and alcohol abuse, and family breakdown as key contributors to child abuse. There are no consequences for these irresponsible thugs who cause untold suffering to our children.

“The anti-smacking bill was never going to make a difference. These abusers don’t even know about section 59 and they don’t care anyway. Child abuse had no relevance to the smacking law.”

Christine Rankin is asking for an independent Inquiry on child abuse – separate from political agendas and correctness – and comprising community leaders who are willing to identify and tackle the real causes of child abuse.


27 JULY 2007 – Family First – Calls for Independent Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse

27 JULY 2007

Calls for Independent Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse

Family First NZ is joining with For the Sake of our Children Trust in calling for an official Inquiry into the unacceptable levels of child abuse in NZ.

The call comes after the horrific case of a Rotorua child fighting for her life as a result of abuse by her step-father and other household members.

“The ban on smacking was simply an admission by politicians that they could not and would not tackle the real causes of child abuse as identified by recent CYFS and UNICEF reports,” says Bob McCoskrie of Family First.

“The 80% plus of NZ’ers who opposed Bradford’s bill are not people who were demanding the right to “thrash and beat” children as suggested by Helen Clark. They were simply kiwis who were exasperated with the fact that politicians and supposed child welfare groups were more interested in targeting good parents and light smacking than tackling the tougher issues of family breakdown, drug and alcohol abuse, violence in our media, poverty, and weak family ties.”

“The anti-smacking bill has been a spectacular failure because it has failed to identify and target the real issues. It was simply about a political agenda rather than practical solutions.”

“An Otara couple who could be out of prison in only four years for the recent horrific abuse of their three year old shows that we simply aren’t placing enough emphasis and resources on sending a clear message to child abusers that their actions are unacceptable. These type of people probably think section 59 is the main road into Wellington.”

Since the passing of the amendment to section 59, there has been a continual stream of child abuse cases including:

June 2007

* Porirua mum and step-father charged with mistreating 3 children, including 5 year old admitted to Wellington Hospital with serious head injuries

* 16 month old Remuera boy dies after beating while in care of relative

* 28-year-old woman charged with murdering a newborn baby found dead in the backyard of a Te Mome Road property in Alicetown.

* Death of 22 month old Tokoroa girl from severe burns – being cared for by step-father. Claims was burnt in hot shower but 17 hour delay before arriving at hospital. Still under investigation.

July 2007

* Hawkes Bay father shoots daughter with air rifle. Convicted and jailed for 6 months

* Christchurch mum-of-two found at P Lab. Charged with failing to provide necessaries of life and allowing home to be used for manufacturing P

* 3-year-old Rotorua girl seriously ill after 3 weeks of abuse by stepfather and extended family

“This latest case is yet another wake-up call, following on from the high-profile Kahui case, that children will never be safe until we are honest enough as a country to identify and tackle the real causes of child abuse.”

“An independent Inquiry would be an important first step,” says Mr McCoskrie


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:
Bob McCoskrie JP – National Director
Tel. 09 261 2426 | Mob. 027 55 555 42

Locations of visitors to this page


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *