Radio New Zealand News 7 June 2012
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the Government could go further than stopping abusive parents from having more babies, by banning abusive men from living or working with children. Ms Bennett says the proposal is being discussed as part of the Government’s white paper on vulnerable children that is still being developed. Cabinet is also considering allowing judges to direct parents convicted for the murder of a child, or serious child abuse, not to have any more children, and if they do, they will be removed at birth. Ms Bennett told Nine to Noon she is considering the proposals as part of the Government’s obligation to stand up for children who have been hideously abused. She says the proposals are still in the discussion stage.
….Prime Minister John Key says United Future and the Maori Party appear to be concerned about the possibility that child abusers could be sterilised. He says Cabinet has never discussed that and it’s not something he personally supports. Family First national director Bob McCoskrie told Morning Report he supports the idea as dysfunctional parents should not have reproductive rights. He said the Government has to act in the best interests of children.
In 2011, Child, Youth and Family removed 148 babies either at birth or within a month. In 2010, it removed 177. Ms Bennett said decisions to remove a child were made case by case, usually because previous children had been abused by the parents or because of mental health issues. A court order issued when someone was being sentenced for child abuse or neglect would send a stronger message and act as a warning not to have more children. Parents would know in advance that the child would be taken from them if they did.
LISTEN Bob McCoskrie and Sue Bradford on National Radio Morning Report