child abuse - Office of the Children's Commissioner should be disbanded
Its all well and good Prime Minister Helen Clark waffling on today on Breakfast TV about how bad child abuse - particularly Maori child abuse - is, and how sentences are not long enough. During the smacking debate a prominent MP said " the signal we are sending today is that child abuse is unacceptable".
And you know, it was just a signal. A bit like a statement of intent - meaning "we`d really like this to happen but we probably won't put anything in place to make it happen unless we really need to". We have a Children's Commissioner who is Maori who is not even making substantial comment on what to do about child abuse. She says we need decent investment in programmes.
What programmes? Sterilisation programmes, parenting programmes, or politically correct half-arsed programmes that comes from her office? I spoke with the Children's Commissioner today and asked her to investigate these latest cases, as she is able to do under the Children's Commissioner Act, but she wasn't prepared to commit to doing that. She seems totally unwilling to do any investigative work whatsoever. A good start would be to adhere to the Childrens Commissioner Act and immediately refer such cases to CYFS for investigation or investigate yourselves. To date the OCC has done neither in the Rotorua cases. Thats how slack child abuse investigation is in this country. Too busy talking about investment in programmes than to investigate real child abuse.
Sensible Sentencing Trust's Kelly Te Heuheu is calling child abuse a race issue. Common denominators in most of our child abuse cases are that they are Maori, their parents are are not married or living together, and they are on welfare or very low incomes. While I do agree that Maori elders need to front up, I also agree that the Office of the Children's Commissioner also needs to stop producing useless reportsfrom her office and front up to issues, investigate child abuse cases - or the commission should be disbanded for failing to adequately address child rights.
updateHowever, given that several people from the OCC have visited this site today, they may wish to advise if since this post was written, the two Rotorua cases have been referred for investigation or a decision has been made not to investigate. Then the post can be updated.