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Turner seeks CYFS Complaints Authority

Filed under: Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 12:35 pm Thu 3rd August 2006

Hi John,

I have taken the liberty to email you this release from Judy Turner MP, calling on an independent complaints authority to be set up for CYF complaints. I gained your email address from the MENZ website which I regularly check as a researcher for Judy Turner and United Future. I apologise in advance if you do not want this email, but I thought that given the large numbers of fathers (and some mothers) out there that have had care and/or contact with their child removed from them by CYF – for which the only way to contest any decision is to complain back to CYF themselves, that you may be interested.

United Future family spokesperson Judy Turner is calling for the creation of a complaints authority to provide an avenue for people who feel they have been unfairly treated by the Children’s, Youth and Family Services.

“CYFS have statutory powers to legally uplift children from the care of their parents where it is considered the children are at risk.

“What I have discovered is that while the Children’s Commission has legislative responsibilities to investigate complaints about the decisions made by CYFS as they pertain to children, there is no independent body that parents and other adult family members can turn to if they believe that they have been treated unjustly by the department.

“Like most other M.P.’s I have a steady stream of letters and e-mails from families who claim to have been poorly treated by CYFS, and while I am sure that not all of them would be upheld if subject to proper scrutiny, I worry about the ones that could well be genuine and for whom there is no opportunity for redress.

“By way of analogy, the New Zealand Police Complaints Authority handles about 2500 complaints a year.

“The Authority is independent and is staffed by 7 full time employees and costs just over $2 million per year to run. Approximately

  • 50% of complaints are not upheld,
  • 13% (on average 343 complaints per year) are upheld or are partially upheld
  • The rest are neither upheld nor not upheld, but are resolved by conciliation or are dropped.”

Mrs Turner would also like the government to fund the Children’s Commission adequately for the investigative work it carries out now.


Judy Turner is the deputy leader of United Future, and has taken particular interest and concern with outcomes relating to CYF cases and processes and the Family court. Last week she contacted Wayne Pruden to publicly greet and congratulate him when he reached parliament steps after his one-man hikoi, and met him privately in her office afterwards for discussions with him.


  1. I don’t think the children’s commission even cares about the cases that come to them.
    And CYFS are so stacked up with requests for files under the privacy act that we will be lucky to get files this year.
    The fact is that who has the money to take CYFS to court. All that people can do is keep their personal lives to themselves and just pray CYFS don’t get involved.
    I would welcome accountability for CYFS. And I have 2 teenage boys that will be kissing the ground you walk on for giving a damn about them.

    Comment by julie — Thu 3rd August 2006 @ 1:38 pm

  2. hey Julie,
    First thanks for your support with the petition. Your special.
    I agree that the Children’s Commission doesn’t seem to care…which begs the question, what do they actually do? Like the Judicial Commplaints Lay Observer…what does he actually do? I know he isn’t busy investigating complaints.
    While I was in Wellington delivering the petition I had the oportunity to talk with Judy Turner several times (although briefly). I got the feeling that she is passionate about change in these vital areas of our society. The difficulty is..we are calling for sweeping changes, but lone MPs can only push for change in ‘bit-sized’ chunks.
    I support her call for a complaints authority, and perhaps if successful, the same authority (or parrallel) can handle complaints about the FC system. Even a small number of upheld complaints would prove that CYF and or FC are responsible for serious injustices and breaches of human rights.
    I was surprised how many people who wanted to sign the petition asked if it covered an enquiry into CYF as well. I haven’t dealt with CYF myself, thank goodness, but I have now heard quite a few horror stories which mirror FC horror stories.
    Ugly business!

    Comment by wayne4dads — Thu 3rd August 2006 @ 3:45 pm

  3. Hi Wayne,

    I appreciate that you appreciate me but what you did was madness (in a nice way) and anyone that does something that you did gets my support. (Actually, You are the first person I have ever backed and I really appreciate you letting me be a part)

    What do I do with these other pages of petition. People love you man. Your the ‘Bomb’ as my kids have put it. (That’s probably yesterday’s lingo)

    Comment by julie — Thu 3rd August 2006 @ 6:52 pm

  4. To continue …

    The children’s commission has it’s own agenda. The more educated I get the more I see how things work.

    They have a board deciding how they will spend their money. And they just go along with the powers that be. Anyone that rocks the boat is just thrown off the board.

    I am so heart broken today because I know a few people that have worked hard to become part of this and domestic violence which they renamed family violence and they just shut up the violence that men receive.

    Do you know what I want to do (it’s not pretty). I want to walk up to them, grab their crutch and say, “I’m just checking if you really are a man”

    I believed in these men and women. They have let me down big time. They have let down all men. They have no right to call themselves men. Or friends of men.
    I tell you that I will make my vote count and I will make at least 500 other votes count.
    Why do all of us women outside of power have to suffer. We are just pawns in their agenda. I am going to educate the women on the street. Actually I already am. And they listen to me because I have so called ‘balls’ that these pathetic men have not.

    Comment by julie — Thu 3rd August 2006 @ 7:08 pm

  5. Hi again Julie,
    Hmm…I think the term was ‘da bomb’, and yes it might be a little dated now. These days its ‘dogg’ and ‘bling’.
    Seriously, I think we have to consider our options on a way larger scale, and the next elections are looming.
    I have another idea which I think you will be very interested in being involved with. I think I have your email address here, so when I have the concept written down I’ll email you a copy and get your feedback.

    Comment by Wayne — Thu 3rd August 2006 @ 10:01 pm

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