• Roger Sowry
Social Welfare

The Minister of Social Welfare, Hon. Roger Sowry today called for ACT Deputy Leader Ken Shirley to apologise to Auckland CYPFS workers after a report by retired Judge Mick Brown found no information to support allegations of any criminal wrongdoing.

"By implication all Children, Young Persons and Their Families staff in Auckland have been under suspicion since Mr Shirley first made allegations against CYPFS in the House a month ago. Public confidence in the Service has been knocked as Mr Shirley had alleged the Service was 'rotten to the core'," said Mr Sowry.

Mr Shirley had made allegations that CYPFS Auckland staff had altered files, ignored and covered up Judges' directions, tampered with documents relating to deaths of two young people, defied court orders and misappropriated public monies.

"Judge Brown has found no information to support these allegations.

"When Mr Shirley made the allegations in the House, we went to considerable lengths to find an avenue for his informants to present information supporting the allegations, anonymously and in confidence.

"Unfortunately Mr Shirley has failed to deliver, and in the process has wasted taxpayers money and Judge Brown's valuable time. The question must be asked whether Mr Shirley had any intention of fronting up with any information, or whether this was just an exercise at CYPFS' expense to boost his profile.

"Unfounded criticisms of the Service only serve to undermine confidence among staff who already work in a stressful and difficult field.

"I believe that Mr Shirley owes Auckland CYPFS workers an apology," says Mr Sowry.