Mother’s despair over CYF action on abuse

Stuff 11 May 2014
A mother whose children were physically and sexually abused by the man Child Youth and Family had entrusted to look after them has demanded her daughter be returned to her custody, saying she has no faith in CYF.

Last week Taite Kupa, 57, was convicted in the High Court at Whangarei on 21 charges of sexually and physically abusing children in his care. He and his wife ran a CYF house in Whangarei. He raped, sodomised and sexually assaulted two young girls, both under 15 years old.

He would kick and pinch the children, and would withhold food from children who misbehaved, making them eat grass sandwiches or serving plates of stones.

Jane*, the mother of a young boy and girl who were assaulted while in Kupa’s care, has spoken of her despair at seeing her children put into an abusive home. The children were originally taken from her, at the ages of 5 and 1, because her partner was beating her.

In January 2013 the children were allowed to visit their mother for the first time since 2010 for the unveiling of their grandfather’s headstone. It was then that the children told Jane of the physical abuse in the house. She went straight to the police.