Child-abusers must prove fitness as parents

NZ Herald 13 August 2013
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says she will need some convincing over sweeping changes made in an effort to stop child abuse and death in New Zealand.

Today Social Development Minister Paul Bennett revealed the full details of changes to be pushed through under the Vulnerable Children Bill.

Under the changes a parents who has been convicted for killing or abusing an infant or child, or who has had their child removed after abusing them will have to prove to Government they are fit to parent more children.

Until now the state had to prove the parent was unsafe.

Mrs Turia said the state should be the last recourse when it came to child abuse, and any changes need to come from the community.

“I do not see the state as a first response to any situation – I believe communities and families are those who are best set to do something about these issues.