Media Release 19 Nov 2011
Family First NZ says that the shocking trend of ten child abuse deaths in the past 16 months is ample evidence of the urgent need for a non-political Commission of Inquiry into child abuse, but is struggling to find a political party willing to front up to the issue.
“We have had Commission of Inquiries this year into the Pike river tragedy, the collapse of buildings and consequent loss of life in theChristchurchearthquake, and previous inquiries into police conduct (2004), genetic modification (2000–2001), andAucklandgovernance (2007-2009) – yet no inquiry into one of the greatest social problems facing the country. The issue of child abuse deserves a high priority total focus which a Commission would give,” says Bob Mccoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“There seems to be no political party who is willing to front up to this issue on the scale required. Since the passing of the anti-smacking law, there have been 30 child abuse deaths. The rate continues unabated.”
Family First’s Value Your Vote family voting guide website shows that the leaders of the Greens, NZ First, ACT, Conservative, and United Future all support this call – yet there has been no specific policy announced by these parties on this issue.
“The ongoing rates of child abuse are a wake-up call 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 free of political correctness and point-scoring is essential. We need long-term solutions to a problem that has existed for far too long,” says Mr McCoskrie.
(Info from police releases and media reports)
1. 6 month old Cezar Taylor Mangere East July 29 2010
The partner of the child’s mother (not father), James Allan Hemana, 30, also known as James Sylva, has been charged with assaulting the baby.
2. 3 year old Seini Unaloto Ikamunu North Shore died 6 Dec 2010
Seini Unaloto IKAMANU received a severe head injury at her Beach haven home on 24 March 2010. She died inStarshipHospital yesterday 6 December 2010. A 28 year old man was charged with murder.
3. Christchurch Newborn Dec 8 2010
A 27-year-old woman (mother) has been charged with the murder of a newborn baby after an incident inChristchurch overnight. The woman appeared in the Christchurch District Court this morning and was remanded in custody for psychiatric assessment, say police.
4. 5 year old Sahara Jayde Baker-Koro Hawkes Bay 21 Dec 2010
Kerry Ratana (not the father) 24, has appeared in court charged with the rape and murder of Sahara.
5. 5 month old Mikara Ranui Jarius Reti, Flaxmere 11 January 2011
A 21-year-old man (not father) has been charged with manslaughter in relation to Mikara’s death. Trent Owen Ngaruhe Hapuku is accused of the manslaughter of Mikara Ranui Jarius Reti on January 11.
6. 6 month old Serenity Jay Scott-Dinnington. Ngaruawahia 29 April 2011
Nobody has been charged yet for the murder.
7. 1 week old Baby Afoa Otahuhu June 2, 2011
The baby’s mother, Kulukora Akau’ola, 22, from Otahuhu is facing a charge of murder. Christian Afoa, 29, from Mangere, was charged with disposing of the body to conceal its birth.
8. Auckland Newborn Ardmore July 18, 2011
The 21-year-old south Auckland woman pleaded guilty in September to one charge of disposing of the dead body of a child
9. One year old baby Otahuhu 5 Nov 2011
Suffered serious injuries, died. CYF had dealt with the family in the past.
10. 2 year old James Joseph Ruhe Lawrence Orakei November 14 2011
Police have revealed that a toddler died after suffering severe damage to his internal organs at an Auckland house this week.