New Zealand's Secret Exposed

New Zealand's "Secret" Exposed
Published on 22-02-2007

Chief Executive of For the Sake of Our Children Trust, Christine Rankin, says the image of New Zealand as a clean and green paradise is being undermined by a shocking United Nations report on children’s well being.

The report ranked New Zealand at the bottom of a list of 24 developed countries for child deaths from accidents and injuries.

“It seems we are learning nothing from the horrendous incidents that we are starting to see in the paper and on our television screens almost daily,” she says.

“But it is no longer our dirty little secret. Now the world is being told we are child beaters and child murderers.”

The most recent case involves three children who were allegedly stabbed by their father on Sunday.

The eight-week-old baby had been slashed down his stomach, while his 18-month-old sister had a stab wound to a lung. Both are in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

Their sister, three, was treated for superficial wounds at Lower Hutt Hospital and discharged.

The incident follows criticism of New Zealand as a country “with a legacy of neglect”.

Speaking to the Herald on Sunday, Dr Innes Asher, a paediatrician at Auckland’s Starship Hospital, said she was treating third world diseases in our children.

“In a country as wealthy as ours, this is simply unacceptable,” says Ms Rankin.

“I again urge the government to do something – anything – to address the terrible treatment of our children.”