Monday, February 26, 2007

National Party want to update their foreign policy...

John Key has announced that he and the National party want to update their foreign policy. Yeah right!

The National Party has done a huge u-turn on foreign policy. Six years ago they condemned the Labour Government for scrapping the RNZAF combat wing which Labour had done for economic reasons more than anything else; the RNZAF has had a long and proud record in combat reaching back to WW2 and the Battle of Britain, for example.

Suddenly they have had a brainwave, they now accept Labour's reasoning behind the decision to scrap the combat wing - New Zealand cannot afford the $200 million annually needed to run a combat wing! What marvellous insight, John Key. Bravo for John. Yeah right!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Cyfswatchnz for your information!

Cindy wants a Social Worker in every home.February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Children’s Commissioner details future vision
Thursday, 26 October 2006, 4:47 pmPress Release: Commissioner For Children
26 October 2006Children’s Commissioner details future vision for New Zealand Children
Speaking at Barnardos New Zealand’s Annual General Meeting today, Children’s Commissioner, Dr Cindy Kiro, outlined her vision for New Zealand children and a proposal to archive this through the introduction of a systematic approach to monitoring child development and supporting families.
“My vision is that every child in New Zealand is safe, nurtured, educated, healthy, and has hope for the future,” said Dr Kiro.
“While we are moving in the right direction with more resources being dedicated to improving the lives and outlook for our children, more needs to be done.”
“Ensuring that children are safe and nurtured, have the resources to develop to their full potential, and have their views considered in matters that affect them, is a fundamental responsibility of governments and communities. It also makes good sense, as it will lead to a better future for all of us. Investments in childhood are most likely to bring good returns to society as a whole. The best results occur when we intervene early in the child’s life before problems become endemic, and also when the likelihood of success is greater.”
“My proposal is Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki: Weaving Pathways to Wellbeing which is a 10-year long-term vision for the wellbeing of children in New Zealand. It calls for the establishment of an integrated framework for children and their families. This would provide a systematic approach to monitoring the development of every child and young person in New Zealand through co-ordinated planned assessment at key life stages and supporting families to make sure children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. The assessments would take into account the whole child: their physical, social, educational, emotional, and psychological development.”
“This adopts a life cycle approach, recognising that as children grow there are some key transition times where there is an opportunity to ensure that they have the skills and resources to manage the transition well. Assessment would be at these key life stages. These would include: early childhood focusing on attachment between infant and caregivers and on physical growth and development; primary and secondary school entry focusing on general health, personal identity, school engagement and social wellbeing; and moving to tertiary education or employment and training opportunities and the transition associated with this.”
“The framework would build on current universal health, education and social development services provided to all children and young people in New Zealand and co-ordination between these agencies. Individual plans, owned by the child and held by the family, will be developed in partnership with children and families and each child would have a named primary professional responsible for ensuring the child and family have access to services and advice as needed.”
“The anonymous aggregated data information gathered will also be very useful for educators, health service providers, community planners and child protection services so that they can prepare and plan appropriately for current and future needs.”
“We need to show now that we are serious about building a better future for our children by taking action. Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki: Weaving Pathways to Wellbeing is a framework on which to build that future. We need to plan and implement this in a systematic way to ensure that no child falls between the cracks. We need to ensure that the services we currently have can work together in a better way. We need to make this investment in resources, structures and systems and in people. We owe it to our children and to our communities.”
Barnardos New Zealand Chief Executive, Murray Edridge, has welcomed the launch of the Children’s Commissioner’s framework. “Dr Kiro has shown real courage and vision in proposing a long term initiative directed at offering every child the best possible start in life.”
“This is totally consistent with Barnardos own vision which talks about valuing childhood and ensuring that each child’s hope and potential are nurtured.”
“Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki will require an enormous commitment of engagement and resources by the government and community, but what better investment can there be than offering all our children the opportunity to be the best that they can be. This is an investment in the future of New Zealand.”
Mr Edridge called on those of all political persuasions, government agencies, community and corporate sector organisations, and members of the public to support this initiative.
“We need to stop children falling through the gaps. This framework has the potential to start dealing credibly with the real issues facing New Zealand’s children and their families and I hope others will work with us to make it happen.”
For more information see attached and
TE ARA TUKUTUKU NGA WHANAUNGATANGA O NGA TAMARIKI: WEAVING PATHWAYS TO WELLBEING – AN INTEGRATED FRAMEWORK FOR CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIESOverviewTe Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki provides a systematic approach to monitoring development of every child and young person in New Zealand, and supporting families to make sure children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
The vision underpinning Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki is that every child in New Zealand is safe, nurtured, educated, healthy, and has hope for the future.
In practical terms the framework aims to ensure that families are supported within their communities to help children thrive in each of the four domains of physical, emotional, cognitive and social development.
Assessments at key transition or change points will lead to development of individual plans to guide progress through universal services, and to access any additional services that are required.RationaleEnsuring that children are safe and nurtured, have the resources to develop to their full potential, and have their views considered in matters that affect them, is a fundamental responsibility of governments and communities.
An ageing population structure, with increasing economic dependency and caregiver ratios, means that the future productivity of every child and young person is important.Investments in childhood are most likely to bring good returns to society as a whole. Economic modelling shows that the optimum return to investment in human capital occurs in the first years of life. Estimates of the benefit to cost ratio of early childhood intervention for disadvantaged children in the United States are as high 17:1 as by age 40 (i.e. US$17 net benefit to society for every dollar spent.)
Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga tamariki will provide accurate information, which is essential to plan well for individual children and families.
The framework will also mean that educators, health service providers, community planners and child protection services have access to anonymous aggregated data so that they can prepare and plan appropriately for current and future needs.Values for successTe Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki will apply to every child, and will mean that physical, emotional, cognitive and social wellbeing is assessed in a consistent way.
The framework will be child-centred, family focused and strengths-based.Details of the framework will need to be developed and implemented with the support and in partnership with children and their families.
The framework allows for early identification of additional needs, which may be met within universal services, and early intervention in the life of a problem where necessary.Planned assessment across domains and sectorsTe Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki adopts a life cycle approach, recognising that as children grow and develop there are some key transition times where it will be wise to have an opportunity to ensure that they have the skills and resources to manage the transition well.
Planned assessment at key life stages, including early childhood, primary and secondary school entry, and moving to tertiary education or employment and training opportunities, is a key component of the framework.
The assessment will take into account the whole child; their physical, social, educational, emotional, and psychological development. Within these domains different factors will be more important depending on the age of the child.
In the early years there is would be a focus on attachment between infant and caregivers, and on physical growth and development. School engagement is important between age five and nine, and at entry to secondary school a review of general health, personal identity and social wellbeing are key issues. The final assessment would focus on preparedness for transition from compulsory education to further education, training or employment.Responsive servicesTe Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki builds on current universal health, education and social development services provided to all children and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The framework expects that individual plans, owned by the child and held by the family, will be developed in partnership with children and families, using strengths-based approaches in a community development paradigm.
For most children their needs will be met within universal education and health services. Each child would have a named primary professional responsible for ensuring the child and family have access to services and advice as needed.
Where additional needs requiring additional social, educational or health services are identified, either through universal service delivery or through planned assessment, a referral will be made. The primary professional will generally remain with the universal service provider, who has responsibility to liaise with the specialist.
Where multiple needs are identified the support provided to the child and their family will be integrated through a lead professional, who has responsibility to collate information and co-ordinate service delivery. A common record will include entries from all practitioners involved, and will continue to be owned by the child and held by the family.Where statutory interventions or specialist intervention are required the integrated service delivery will continue, co-ordinated by a practitioner with statutory or professional responsibility to take the lead professional role.
A key strength of an integrated approach is the potential for all professionals to be working to the same frame of reference. This is, of course, in stark contrast to the silo effect often observed between, and even within, agencies who may be engaged with families but do not co-ordinate their work.
For the framework to function effectively, those involved with a child or family will need to have access to information that helps them to make better decisions. A sound information base is essential if we are going to make sure that every child is safe and protected, enjoys the resources to take an active role in society, and understands and enjoys their human rights.
The clear benefits of sharing integrated information are that each and every social service provider has a clear picture of the child’s experiences, strengths and needs, and can more effectively promote that child’s rights, best interests and welfare.Sharing of information will require trust, shared ownership and commitment, with careful attention to privacy considerations and concerns.ImplementationTe Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki is a 10-year long-term vision for the wellbeing of children in New Zealand.
The framework builds on existing services, supports and capacity. It can be rolled out incrementally, possibly beginning with areas that have high perceived need, or at specific ages, and eventually reaching all children and young people.
Co-located services for children and families are most likely to be accessible, and to foster the community development approach that is a key value of Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki.
Workforce development will be an important area of investment in the implementation of Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki. This workforce development will include additional capacity in terms of assessment, data management, and service co-ordination. The principal investment will need to be in developing the capacity of the existing workforce to implement a whole child approach, use a common assessment framework, and deliver integrated services.
Posted in Uncategorized No Comments »
And Kiwiblogs David Farrar wants to turn us in to the police.February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
TVNZ interview on 23/2/07 with blogger David Farrar.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Media No Comments »
And then after deleting their blog, Google invite CYFSWATCH back to re-post the blog on Google!!February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz

[February 22, 2007]
Google Shuts Down CYFSWatch Blog
By Raju Shanbhag
TMCnet Contributing Editor
The Internet search giant Google (News - Alert) has finally bowed to pressure from New Zealand authorities and shut down the CYFSWatch blog, which was hosted on Google’s free blogging platform,
Google took this action after the blog posted some death threats to a New Zealand MP. The New Zealand authorities complained to Google repeatedly, which led to the action.
But interestingly, Google still preserves the pages of CYFSWatch blog in its cached search result pages - and one can still view at least the home page of the blog. The blog speaks about New Zealand’s government-run Child Youth and Family (CYF) service, which can remove children from homes for care and protection. The blog had been encouraging people who had to deal with social workers from this program to post personal information about these workers. In January, the Ministry of Social Development, which runs the agency, expressed concern for the safety of its staff and complained to Google. Consequently, Google censored many of the offensive pages but allowed the blog to continue running.
Things took an ugly turn yesterday as New Zealand’s so-called “anti-smacking” bill was ready to go before the Parliament for approval. The bill makes it a crime for parents to hit their children. The blog was critical in particular of MP Sue Bradford, who introduced the bill, calling her a “worthy candidate for NZ’s first political assassination.” Another entry called for her home address to be published on the site. Although Google has shut down the blog, it can still be accessed via another free blogging platform.
CYFSwatch, whose authors have always remained anonymous, issued a statement today saying Google’s action was “a breathtaking display of socialist censorship.”
Meanwhile, the threatened MP, Sue Bradford, said she was happy about Google’s action as it will provide some relief to all the Child, Youth and Family social workers who have been intimidated and threaten by the website. Although the action wouldn’t lift the threat on her life, she says she is not intimidated.
An anonymous posting gave a graphical description of how the writer would like to attack Bradford. The blog also threatened to publish her address if she didn’t pull the proposed bill.
According to Google spokeswoman Victoria Grand, Google had to shut down the CYFSWatch blog because it had a “repeat violation issue.” In its terms of service, Google reserves the right to shut down a blog if it repeatedly violates the rules and regulations set forth by the company. Grand said Google will definitely let the bloggers of CYFSWatch post to a new blog, provided they do not violate the site rules again.
Google’s terms of service prohibit the posting of content that is “unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortuous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable.”
New Zealand’s parliament will shortly hear the bill’s “second reading” and it is reportedly likely to pass that stage – one of several approvals needed before it can be passed into law.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Media No Comments »
How it happened (and should never have happened).February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Google shuts down Cyfswatch website
By Simon Collins
The now pulled Cyfswatch site
Google has shut down the controversial Cyfswatch website because of threats posted on the blog site yesterday against Green MP Sue Bradford.
Google spokeswoman Victoria Grand said the US-based giant had previously censored postings that breached its terms of service but had now closed the site permanently because of “repeat violations”.
She said Google investigated the site when the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development first complained about it last month, and again after the ministry lodged a new complaint about the postings threatening Ms Bradford yesterday.
Cyfswatch said yesterday that it had details of Ms Bradford’s home address and would post them unless she withdrew her “anti-smacking” bill. The bill, removing a defence for parents against assault charges if they used reasonable force to “correct” their children, passed its second reading in Parliament by 70 votes to 51 last night.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Social Development said the ministry would not comment on the site’s shutdown.
Cyfswatch, whose authors have always remained anonymous, issued a statement today saying Google’s action was “a breathtaking display of socialist censorship”.
It said a mirror site was now available.
Google’s terms of service prohibit the posting of content that is “unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libellous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable”.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Media No Comments »
What the police say (aka “The reason Google now look really stupid”)February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Police say website comments not illegal
By MAGGIE TAIT - NZPA Thursday, 22 February 2007
A website that carried a posting by someone who said they wanted to beat up Green Party MP Sue Bradford has been closed.
It was unclear if it the closure of the Cyfswatch website was permanent.
Meanwhile, police have told NZPA that the comments made on the site did not break any laws.
Police diplomatic protection squad Sergeant Ron Lek told NZPA that the posting was written in such a way it skirted breaking the law.
The posting raised the prospect of assassinating the MP, who has a member’s bill before Parliament to remove the right of parents to smack children to correct them.
The legislation takes away the defence of reasonable force against assault of a child under Section 59 of the Crimes Act.
The author says they would like to punch Ms Bradford and break her nose and gave a graphic account about other injuries that would be inflicted.
“We’ve had legal advice to say basically no criminal offence has been committed as yet,” Mr Lek said.
“But we’re obviously concerned as far as the implications in the blog goes.”
Mr Lek said it was not legal to make threats.
“But the way it was worded it was not a direct threat as such. It’s couched in a way it - possibly cleverly or by pure luck - that the person doesn’t commit an offence.”
Mr Lek said police would try find out who was behind the posting.
When asked if security for Ms Bradford had been increased Mr Lek said the DPS do not comment on individual security matters.
Ms Bradford yesterday told reporters she was alarmed at the posting which “details a graphic physical assault on me and asks people to send in my home address”.
“I’ve referred it to the police here at Parliament and I’m quite concerned about my physical safety at this time.”
The website also said it would publish Ms Bradford’s residential address if it was supplied.
The anonymous posting suggests Ms Bradford should be killed.
“Bradford is a worthy candidate for NZ’s first political assassination – I only wish I had the resources to do it.”
The website was set up to criticise Child, Youth and Family Services (CYF) and caused controversy with a “name-and-shame” blog which provided personal information about individual social workers.
Google ordered it to remove some posts that were not compliant with its terms of service.
Ms Bradford said she hoped her address was not in the public domain and she would consider getting protection.
“I’ve asked my secretary to go straight to the Parliamentary police to let them know that I am worried now. I wasn’t before,” she said.
“There have been occasional threats in the past but the fact they are trying to track down my address at the same time as describing a graphic and quite horrible assault on me is distressing at this time in the Parliamentary debate.”
She said the incident reflected the campaign some of her opponents had whipped up around the debate.
“Some of the parents who want to defend the parents right to hit their kids seem quite fanatical and I think this threat against me is the latest manifestation.”
Ms Bradford’s bill passed its second reading last night, to move one step closer to becoming law.
Ms Bradford said she hoped the site had been closed permanently. She had been contacted by other people abused on the site.
“They’re saying to me ‘now you understand how bad it is’,” she told NZPA.
“If that website could be closed down, that would be fantastic. It isn’t just about me.”
Ms Bradford said she was not getting special security at this stage.
“I’m hoping that the emotions that have been aroused will calm down as they realise that the democratic processes of this country need to take place and threatening to kill people is really anathema to democracy.”
Internet commentator David Farrar said he expected that Google, that own the blog host had decided to delete the site.
He said there was no question the latest posts would have breached its terms of service agreement.
It was possible the site’s authors may try get another host.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Media No Comments »
What the media say……..February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Website still threatening Bradford
By COLIN ESPINER - The Press Friday, 23 February 2007The authors of a website containing threats against the life of Green MP Sue Bradford say they will publish her home address unless she withdraws her anti-smacking legislation currently before Parliament.
Internet giant Google yesterday pulled the plug on the CYFS Watch website, which for several months has hosted abusive comments about social workers and MPs.
But within hours the site was back on another hosted domain.
CYFS Watch, whose authors will not be identified, issued a statement saying Google’s action was “a breathtaking display of socialist censorship”.
The website said it had details of Bradford’s home address and would post them unless she withdrew her “anti-smacking” bill.
The bill, removing a defence for parents against assault charges if they used reasonable force to discipline their children, passed its second reading in Parliament by 70 votes to 51 on Wednesday night.
Bradford said she had expected further retaliation and would not be withdrawing her bill.
Google removed virtually all the website’s archives around 9am yesterday, leaving only posts relating to missing children. Google spokeswoman Victoria Grand said the United States-based company had previously censored postings that breached its terms of service but had now closed the site permanently because of “repeat violations”.
An anonymous posting opposed to Bradford’s anti-smacking bill said the writer wanted to punch Bradford in the face so hard it broke her nose and jaw, and invited other readers to consider assassinating the MP.
Matters reached a head Wednesday night when more postings referred to the manufacture of a sawn-off weapon and the collection of arms that could be used against Bradford and other MPs who were attempting to overturn section 59 of the Crimes Act.
Yesterday the Watching CYFS website contained several postings vigorously defending its right to publish threats against Bradford and others. However, the previous death threats against Bradford had been removed.
One posting, written by Kiwi1960, complained that Bradford had been “one of us” before she became an MP. “She was a protestor, and an advocate of the Unemployed Workers Union. What she wants to deny us is what she did nearly every week while she was unemployed.
“She knows how the game is played, she knows very well that she didn’t need to feel afraid, but she went on TV saying her life is now in danger, well, that’s one way to get the public behind an unpopular bill she is promoting, like I said, she knows how the game is played.”
Police said yesterday they wanted to speak to the person who posted the comments about Bradford to see what his or her intentions were.
However it appeared the remarks were written in such a way that they skirted breaking the law.
Bradford remained hopeful that her address would not be published. but she would not be threatened.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Media No Comments »
CYFSWATCH Response? Waste of bloody time.February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Unless we missed it, and New Zealand is now a country that has binding referendum, CYFSWATCH believes that this idea is vacuous, feel-good window dressing.
Larry Baldock had his chance in Parliament with United Future - he (and they) blew it by “sleeping with the enemy”.
Now, they are both irrelevant.
Petition offers voice against Bradford billNZ Herald 5:00AM Friday February 23, 2007By Simon Collins
Sheryl Savill says she is ‘defending the way I’ll be raising my children’.New Zealand voters may get the final say on Green MP Sue Bradford’s controversial “anti-smacking” bill if an estimated 303,000 of them sign petitions launched yesterday to force two referendums on the issue.
Howick mother-of-two Sheryl Savill and former United Future MP Larry Baldock seek signatures to hold the two citizen-initiated referendums asking:
* Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?
* Should the Government give urgent priority to understanding and addressing the wider causes of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse in New Zealand?
The Government will have to hold the referendums if the petitions are signed by at least 10 per cent of those on the electoral rolls within a year of the proposals being gazetted.
Clerk of the House David McGee approved the proposals’ wording on Wednesday and expects to advertise them in the Gazette next Wednesday, giving the proponents until February 28 next year to get their signatures.
There were 2,893,017 people on the electoral rolls on January 31 and a further 137,180 people who were believed to be eligible but not enrolled. This means the organisers need the signatures of about 303,000 enrolled electors.
Mr Baldock said he hoped to get as many signatures as possible before the final vote in Parliament on Ms Bradford’s bill, which would remove a defence against assault charges where parents used reasonable force to “correct” their children. The bill passed its second reading in Parliament by 70 votes to 51 on Wednesday.
“We expect the bill is going to carry on until at least May, so we have 2 months to collect the 300,000 signatures,” he said.
He said the first referendum in Mrs Savill’s name, restoring a right to smack as a “correction”, would be dropped if Ms Bradford’s bill was defeated. But the indications yesterday were that the bill would pass narrowly.
Mrs Savill, 37, whose children are 8 and 10, administers a parent education programme called “How to drug-proof your kids” for Focus on the Family, the local branch of a United States-based Christian organisation. Her husband, Philip Savill, is a community constable in Howick.
“I’m a concerned mum. This is defending the way that I’ll be raising my children,” she said.
“I have on occasion used smacking. It’s not the only thing we do, we use a whole variety of things from time-out to withdrawal of privileges. I think it’s something parents should have the choice about.”
She said child abuse was caused by drugs and alcohol, family break-up, poverty and stress - not smacking.
That was why she worked on helping parents keep their children off alcohol and drugs.
“I want to be able to help parents to stop their children going down that track,” she said.
Mr Baldock said the second petition, in his name, showed that the initiative supported constructive alternatives to deal with child abuse, such as television advertising, pre-marriage education on resolving conflict without violence, and more funding for church and community agencies to provide “super-nanny-style” support to parents.
He and fellow MP Gordon Copeland failed in their last attempt to get a citizen-initiated referendum, to repeal the Prostitution Reform Act, in 2004. They gathered more than 200,000 signatures but it was not enough.
This time they are backed by Focus on the Family, Family First, For the Sake of our Children Trust, the Sensible Sentencing Trust and the Vision Network of evangelical churches.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Commentary No Comments »
The CYFSWATCH “blackmail” smear.February 22nd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
It appears that CYFSWATCH have been erroneously painted by the media as an organisation that is “blackmailing” Sue Bradford, by stating that we intend to publish the address details we have of Sue Bradford, unless she withdraws the anti-smacking bill.
What the media label “blackmail” we call the manifestation of the logical consequence of an intended and undemocratic aggressive action against New Zealand parents and their children.
Sue Bradford says that she refuses to be intimidated by CYFSWATCH - good for her.
Neither will CYFSWATCH be intimidated by Sue Bradford in her attempts to “force” us off the Internet, so, in order to minimise the perception that CYFSWATCH is “blackmailing” Sue Bradford, we have decided to publish the multiple addresses that have been sent to us relating to Sue Bradford, BEFORE the third reading of the anti-smacking bill.
This way, no-one can say that we are metaphorically “holding a gun” to the head of Sue Bradford over this issue.
Watch this space.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Commentary 4 Comments »
Newstalk ZB Interview Questions-and CYFSWATCH answers.February 22nd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Rachel Morton (Journalist - Newstalk ZB) 22/1/07What’s prompted you to start this website?
CYFSWATCH was prompted to start this website, as going through what you term “appropriate channels” is a waste of time, as the system set up to call CYFS Social Workers to account is self perpetuating in favour of the CYFS Social Worker, as opposed to their victims (families). For example, if I am a disgruntled parent who is unhappy with a CYFS intervention, my first point of contact is the CYFS Social Worker, then the CYFS Social Workers Supervisor, then the CYFS Branch Manager, then the office of the Children’s Commissioner, then the Ombudsman, and finally, the Minister in charge of the Department. Each step results in systemic rationalisation (and thus approval) of the previous step. When you consider that children have repeatedly died in CYFS care, and that no-one has ever been held to account (except the esoteric “system”), then it is quite clear that going through the appropriate channels is not useful, and that it ultimately costs the lives of the very people CYFS claim they are trying to assist.
Are you aware that you could be charged with defamation for these types of comments?
Defamation is covered within the Law of Tort, and CYFSWATCH believe that you are more specifically referring to Libel. Lawyers charge around $200-$300 per hour for working on such cases, which precedent would suggest are mightly hard to prove. First of all, CYFS would have to decide as to how much they wanted to sue CYFSWATCH for: if under $200,000, they would need to file proceedings in the District Court, and if they wish to sue CYFSWATCH for over $200,000 they would need to issue proceedings in the High Court. However, since 1992, applicants may not nominate an amount of claim if the source of the alleged libel is media based. CYFSWATCH would argue that a blogsite is “media based”. The Court would nominate what they considered to be appropriate damages, should an application for damages be successful. The main defence here lies in the arguement in posts being of “truth and honest opinion” and thus not defamatory. Alternatively, CYFSWATCH could argue qualified priviledge, or we could even argue that a person named on the site has no good character at all, and thus their reputation cannot be defamed. Whatever the issue, CYFSWATCH feels reasonably confident in defending any Statement of Claim should one arise.
Do you feel you’re going too far by asking for photos, personal addresses and car registrations?
CYFS run a system called CYRIS which has a plethora of intensely personal information about 1000’s of families, much of the information of which CYFSWATCH would suggest is way over the top in terms of “what they need to know”. CYFS record every phone call, email, and meeting, without the informed consent of the various parties present. Is that going too far? Besides, if the CYFS Manangent team are so confident that their Social Workers are beyond reproach, then they will have no problem whatsoever in the activities of CYFSWATCH. In the words of Labour Party President Mike Williams, CYFSWATCH believes that sunlight is indeed the best disinfectant. The purpose of calling for as much contact information as possible is to ensure transparency and accountability, two features remarkably absent from the Department of Child, Youth, and Family.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Media No Comments »
Newstalk ZB discovers CYFSWATCH-so does CYFS.February 22nd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Newstalk ZB WebsiteWebsite names CYF worker22/01/2007 13:01:31
Child Youth and Family has condemned a new website which is highly critical of the agency’s workers.
The anonymous blog site says it will publish details of staff including home addresses, vehicle registration numbers and photos. So far only one staff member has been named on the site. The site promises to publish uncensored stories which will ‘name and shame’ CYF workers.
A disgruntled parent describes the worker’s physical appearance in unflattering terms and accuses her of erratic and bizarre behaviour when working with families. The department says it is powerless to shut down the site, but it is obviously a concern.
Child Youth and Family general manager of operations Lorraine Williams says social workers deal with danger, violence and anger on a daily basis and continue to turn up to work with the belief they are making a difference in the lives of young people.
She says CYF has been criticised on Internet sites in the past but this is the first time staff members have been named.Ms Williams says the department cannot promise it will always get it right but staff will continue to work hard for children in what is a tough and stressful environment.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Media No Comments »
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Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Greens anti-smacking debate and bill...

Greens MP, Sue Bradford has certainly opened a can of worms with her anti-spanking bill. She is either condemned for taking parents rights away from them in disciplining their offspring, or she is congratulated for having the courage and intestinal fortitude to put the way New Zealanders discipline their children onto the political agenda and platform. Who is right?

Ms Bradfords solution to the scenario where New Zealand has been accused of being one of the most dangerous places for children, has been to put forward a bill to repeal a certain section of the Act that allows parents reasonable force to discipline their children. Its purpose has been described as sending a signal that the use of force against children is not acceptable. Its effect will be to outlaw smacking. Police will have to prosecute anybody who broke the law. No assurances can be given that it won't happen. But will the law become an ass?

There will not be a flood of prosecutions of bewildered parents to the courts, because most incidents of parents disciplining their children will be behind closed doors anyway. The occasional case of parents losing their cool in supermarkets will be just that, an isolated case. However those parents who beat their children with whips,bamboo sticks, hosepipes, pieces of wood and other articles are actually more likely to be prosecuted now that disciplining of our children has become a public debate, and rightly so!

Don't condemn Ms Bradford and the Government who may support her bill at the third reading in a few weeks time, just be grateful that our childrens interests have been considered and debated on the national stage. Just remember this, also, that it is never right or legal to assault adults in public ever, even if they are playing up and making a total pest of themselves in a supermarket or a public bar somewhere!

Finally, we have to ask ourselves the following question: Is teaching children that violence is an acceptable solution to problems in anybody's interests? Perhaps Sue Bradford's stimulated public debate has already caused many parents to personally think about their own disciplinary methods towards their own children. Ms Bradford is not an ogre or threat to society, she is a politician who has never sought physical force of any degree to discipline her own five children. Does she deserve personal threats? Of course not! Those people who have taken such a negative reaction towards their perceived right to physically discipline their children have a few issues of their own to sort out!

Incidently, the state of California and its residents are having their own particular debate about banning physical force against those children who are under three years of age!

Friday, February 16, 2007

New Zealand's welfare state not the cause of NZ's social decline!

New Zealand's welfare state is not the cause at all of our social decline and the creation of an underclass, as claimed by Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten which published a full page report headlined The Kiwi miracle that faded, this is the liberal conservative newspaper attacked for publishing those controversial Islamic cartoons that insulted and infuriated Islam last year.

The above newspaper regularly attacks the Danish Government's welfare policies that are based on New Zealand's. A welfare crisis; an underclass heralding social disaster in New Zealand? I don't think so. New Zealand has problems and has had these social problems that were caused by the economic reforms of the late 1980's and the excesses that followed with the policies of the Bolger/ Shipley National Government, 1990-1999.

The Employment Contracts Act, the most fascist piece of legislation since Sid Holland's emergency regulations created during the infamous Watersiders lockout in the early 1950's, was designed to emasculate the NZ trade union movement, and it did; to reduce real wages, and it did; and to create flexiibility for NZ employers on a scale not seen since the great depression, and it did. There were a variety of insidious changes created to our society because of that legislation alone. Some of the biggest victims of that legislation were mature workers, many of whom have never had long term employment since that time. Awards were scrapped and employers soon did away with overtime and holiday double time rates. The side effects to these employment changes caused corresponding social changes which have deterioated to such a degree that there is a real and existing underclass of New Zealanders, a severe and worsening drug problem and violence on such a scale in parts of our country never seen before, not even during the great depression era. That is where John Key's underclass originated!

We all know what the problems are, where they originated and what should be done. The problem is they are now so deep-seated and difficult it will take time to eradicate. The Labour Government and its allies have started well by reducing unemployment rates to the lowest in 20 years. Its Working for Families policy will have a positive effect on poverty, but wage rates have to be increased dramatically as will welfare benefits in the short term!

John Key and his National Party are irrelevant and do not have positive policies to improve the lot of the lower socio-economic sector of this country, or even the middle and lower middle classes of New Zealand!

Monday, February 12, 2007

John Key's a dick - ask his son!

The new National Party leader in New Zealand learned his first personal hard lesson - don't ask children for advice, especially your own!

He recently asked his eleven year old son, Max, for feedback on a television appearance.

Apparently Max's response was something like this: " Well Dad, you looked like a dick. You sounded like a dick. And the guy interviewing you was convinced you were a dick!"

He won't be asking for advice from young Max again in a hurry. Was Max right? Most people really think he is a dick. I think he is a dick because he and National still don't have anything positive to offer New Zealanders. As for the people of South Auckland, they know he is a dick!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Waitangi Day is not the real New Zealand Day celebration in my book!

Waitangi day is not the real New Zealand Day celebration in my book! Not any more. The divisiveness caused by the radical Maori leadership up in Waitangi for many years now has destroyed for ever any notion that Waitangi Day can be a day for New Zealanders of all races to embrace the concept of real nationhood in this country; radical Maoridom doesn't want it. It has some concept of its own in this regard. It is obsessed with the colonialism of the past - something now despised by non-Maori as much as the present generation of Maori society. I'm of Scandinavian/ Celtic descent and don't hold any brief for the former British empiracal social concept.

Twenty years or so the Waitangi Day holiday was popular by most New Zealanders of all races and was universally celebrated throughout New Zealand. For a short while it was renamed "New Zealand" Day by the late humanitarian prime minister, Norman Kirk, remembered historically for taking the hand of a young Maori boy as he strode up to the Marae at Waitangi. It was quickly changed back to Waitangi Day by Robert Muldoon a few years later; a man and prime minister ironically known for his own particular brand of political divisiveness. Norman Kirk wanted February 6th to be known and remembered for more than just its historical significance - he wanted it to have the same meaning among New Zealanders as Australia Day has with Australians, and Independence Day has with Americans. Sadly it has been demeaned by representatives and descendants of one of the so-called partners of the Treaty of Waitangi - the tangatawhenua - Maori themselves, who lack cultural respect for the descendants of the other partner to the treaty, and all those other non-Maori who have become New Zealands by birth or through immigration to these shores since 1840. It is really of historical significance that Maori are immigrants to New Zealand as well - they are the first people of this country who arrived here in the 13th century and adopted this country as their own after the great migrations during that century; they are not indigenous to New Zealand which was not inhabited by humans until they arrived.. They came from the general South Pacifica area of modern day Rarotonga and Tahiti - migrating here by ocean-going waka or canoes. This fact alone is one of the great migrations of the last millenium.

I personally believe that another day should be set aside to recognize and celebrate New Zealand nationhood, perhaps Dominion Day which commemorates that day in 1901 when NZ ceased to be a colony of England and Britain. Waitangi Day can continue to be celebrated for its historical significance. Once the outstanding treaty claims are resolved during the next ten or so years, the treaty will gradually lose much of its significance and become more of a historical founding document.