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Newstalk ZB Interview Questions-and CYFSWATCH answers.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on February 23, 2007

A posted on CYFSWATCH New Zealand

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

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.


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