Funding, Support For Royal Commission on Child Abuse

Media Release 19 July 2012
Family First is welcoming the pledge of funding for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into child abuse from millionaire businessman Owen Glenn. Family First has been calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry since 2007, and a recent petition seeking a referendum on the issue gained 300,000 signatures.

“We have had recent Commission of Inquiries into the Pike river tragedy, the collapse of buildings and consequent loss of life in the Christchurch earthquake, and previous inquiries into police conduct (2004), genetic modification (2000–2001), and Auckland governance (2007-2009) – yet no inquiry into one of the greatest social problems facing the country. The issue of child abuse deserves a high priority non-political focus which a Commission would give,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“The government is now running out of excuses for appointing a Royal Commission, headed by key NZ’ers such as parenting guru Ian Grant, Dame Lesley Max, Professor David Fergusson and other non-political experts. There is also political support from the Greens, NZ First, United Future, Conservative, and ACT parties – and from the NZ public.”

In the poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Curia Market Research in March 2011, respondents were asked Do you think an independent Commission of Inquiry into the wider causes of child abuse and family violence in NZ should be established by the Government?” Two out of three (65%) said yes, 27% said no, and the remainder (8%) were either unsure or refused to answer.

“It’s essential that we identify the root causes of family dysfunction, marriage breakdown, and violence. It’s also essential that we remove political posturing and point-scoring from the process. The response of opposition political parties to the recent Green Paper on abuse proved this. Since the passing of the much-vaunted anti-smacking law, the rate of child abuse deaths has continued unabated,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“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 root causes of child abuse. An independent Inquiry is essential. We need long-term solutions to a problem that has existed for far too long.”

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