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Famly First news – update

Filed under: General — Julie @ 12:28 pm Wed 10th June 2009

1. ‘Honest’ Report on Child Abuse Welcomed
Family First Media Release 4 June 2009

Family First NZ is welcoming a report from the Children’s Commissioner on child abuse released today, and says that it backs the call for a Royal Commission on child abuse. “The report entitled ‘ Death and serious injury from assault of children aged under 5 years in Aotearoa New Zealand: A review of international literature and recent findings’ makes an honest assessment of the real causes of child abuse and reinforces the findings of previous UNICEF and CYF reports that we have quoted,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “The anti-smacking law was a smoke screen for dealing with the real, and much harder to deal with, causes of child abuse. It has meant that ‘normal’ families have been targeted because they’re easier to deal with, rather than the dysfunctional non-compliant families who need support and possibly intervention. This report identifies those causes and is so honest that it could almost be labeled politically incorrect.”

Risk factors for child abuse in the report included :

  • ethnicity (including the high rate of abuse amongst Maori)
  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • mental illness
  • unsupported young mothers with little or no antenatal care
  • presence of a non-biological parent
  • family breakdown, severe conflict and ongoing domestic violence
  • poverty, instability and unemployment

READ Full Report
Family First Comment : This report endorses what we have been saying about child abuse all along – see .

2. Home best for babies says doctor
Sunday Star Times 07 June 2009

A leading neonatal paediatrician is warning parents to do all they can to avoid putting their young children in daycare, saying it could permanently harm their developing brains. Dr Simon Rowley, who works at Auckland’s National Women’s Hospital and in private practice, will tell 900 nurses and volunteers at a Plunket conference in Rotorua tomorrow that they should encourage parents “to actually be parents – not absentee parents”. READ MORE
READ an Op-Ed written by Bob McCoskrie on this issue Extended Childcare No Miracle For Children NZ Herald Sep 07

3. ‘Smacking law’ needs fixing – Op Ed
Richard Dawson is Pastor of St Stephens/Leith Valley Presbyterian Church.
Otago Daily Times 5 Jun 2009

Richard Dawson argues that rather than encouraging good parenting the “smacking law” undermines self-confidence and is actually “a form of violence against ordinary parents”. “..Parenting is perhaps one of the most important tasks anyone can take on. Our society provides virtually no training for it and very little material encouragement to parents. Now we have a law which makes a criminal out of a parent who has tried to stay in the game even though they might be getting it a bit wrong. I can’t think of anything more discouraging to young parents who already lack confidence and knowledge. The law has become a form of violence against ordinary parents who are trying to do the job, even if badly at times. We need to fix this law and find a more positive approach to parents and parenting.” READ MORE

4. Call for Immigration Dept to Protect Unborn Child
Family First Media Release 9 June 09

Family First NZ is calling on the Immigration Department to show compassion to a heavily pregnant Lithuanian mother whose unborn child, and her own health, will be put at risk if she is forced to leave the country. “This does not appear to be a family deliberately out to flout the laws,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “The complications in the pregnancy are outside of their control and because of this, the Immigration department should grant a waiver.” READ MORE
Pregnant overstayer has support from Family First Newstalk ZB READ MORE
Pregnant Tourist told to leave country NZ Herald READ MORE
STOP PRESS Success. Visitor’s Permit extended. Good decision!

5. Mental health linked to dietary habits
Sydney Morning Herald June 9, 2009

CHILDREN who have a poor diet are more likely to have a mental health problem as an adolescent, research has found. READ MORE

6. Schools call in police drug dogs
The Dominion Post 08 June 2009

Wellington schools have called in police sniffer dogs to search for drugs in a “desperate” move to tackle a growing problem that is “destroying” lives. READ MORE

7. Gender test spurs abortion fears
NZ Herald Jun 08, 2009

A new test to reveal the gender of a fetus in early pregnancy has sparked a row over whether it will lead to sex-selection abortions. .. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is worried about what the test might lead to. “The concern we would have is that people would then terminate pregnancies on the grounds of sex selection,” said college president Dr Ted Weaver. Anti-abortion group Voice for Life echoes this concern. Spokesman Bernard Moran said abortions for sex selection were a problem overseas and the test would facilitate this in New Zealand. “Certain ethnic minorities here might be more prone to use it.” READ MORE

8. Is TV delaying child development?
BBC News 2 June 09

New research suggests having the TV on may impair young children’s development by reducing the amount of conversation between infant and adult. READ MORE


  1. This report skirts around and away from the key risk factor: lack of involvement of biological father.
    Also the factor of “extreme conflict” was supposed to mean really extreme conflict. Unfortunately it gets twisted so that any disagreement is justification for excluding the father which in fact places the child at much greater risk of abuse and many other negative outcomes.

    Comment by Dave — Wed 10th June 2009 @ 10:32 pm

  2. In total agreement Dave.
    I would like the Family First to poke their noses at the drama-s manufactured by the Family Court
    They are the number one cause of family breakdowns.

    Comment by tren Christchurch — Fri 12th June 2009 @ 10:05 am

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