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Graemea & CYF New Zealand

Graeme Axford documents his on going dispute with Child Youth & Family, (CYF) New Zealand

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Committee Recommends Independent Authority

The Social Services Select Committee has recommended an independent complaints mechanism for complaints about Child Youth and Family.  Currently people have to be persistent to resolve their issues, says the committee.  The Committee is concerned to hear that the Ministry of Social Development does not monitor complainants ultimate satisfaction with the process."

Paula Bennett has to give her responce

Complaints Authority Petitionupdate

Please Note: The Petition is Closed
Some pages remain for research and information purposes only.

Graeme would like to take this opportunity to express his personal thanks to all those who supported the Petition and helped in collecting signatures.

The Petition Text can be read in full on this site, along with an indepth explanation of the intent and desire of the petition, as well as the reasons why we say an Independent Authority is the only workable solution.


CYFWatchers & Support Group does just as it says Watchers Child, Youth and Family and tries to support people having to deal with them. We are a legally recognized charitable trust.… More information will be coming soon.
cyfwatchers on blogspot
cyfwatchers on facebook

The Children's Commissioner

Children's Commissioner (OCC)
I would like the Office of the Children's Commission (OCC) New Zealand, to answer the outstanding issues the then Children's Commissioner, Dr Cindy Kiro created. The Current Commissioner seems unwilling to respond and explain things …

Current Poll(s)

"Do you think Child Youth and Family (CYF) New Zealand, need greater accountability?."  
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Graeme now has a Petition Group on Facebook, if you care about our kids and stopping All forms of abuse including the unintentional join up today.

I am for people. I can't help it !

Charles Chaplin "Observer, Sept 1954"

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Graeme & CYF

Graeme Axford is qualified Social Worker and Advocate with both professional and personal experiences with the wider family, when it comes to dealing with Child Youth and Family issues, based on that background I have wanted to see the way they do some things changed.

For that reason I have been protesting since around 2006 outside Child Youth and Family (CYF) offices, on a small add hock scale.

I was the first person to go through the then, new Chief Executive Advisory Panel (CE Panel) and we had a win. I call it a 'hollow victory,' as it proved I was right, and changed nothing, in my view. Neither was anyone held personally accountable for the huge errors and what's worse; they seem to be repeated in other people's cases I help with, when they face CYF.

The CE panel has the inherent flaw of having to be asked by the Chief Executive, of the MSD that runs CYF, to look into things. They can't do it off their own back and neither can a member of the public approach them, all paths to and from the CE panel go via the CEO and no other means.

On Wednesday, 28 July 2010, 1:54 pm, a Press Release was put out by Family First Lobby "Success Rate Shows Need for CYF Complaints"

It seems clear from the link above, the current model of the CE panel does not work and there are some complaints that can't get past the current CEO, Peter Hughes, to be heard by this panel.

The office of the Children Commission (OCC), can't help people with CYF issues as they over see the Act which CYF work under and not CYF itself.

The Social Worker Registration board (SWRB), can only help if the person is registered, and even then the SWRB rely on CYF cooperation. Not only that but some staff like, FGC, coordinators, and Managers for example are not considered Social Workers and so are exempt of sorts.

The Human Rights, Families Commissions are little if any help, which is not a criticism of them, they just donít have the mandate.

CYF claim they have professional oversight like from the "Care & Protection Resource Panel" however they have in the past sacked Panels for example in Tauranga, if they disagree with what CYF are doing. The Care and Protection Resource Panel is also appointed by CYF and can suffer from tokenism, nepotism and cronyism because of this.

CYF in my view have the power likened to the police; they interview, investigate, gather evidence. If need be they uplift kids and make a case for the family court. So they have powers similar to the police but without the safeguards and responsibility in place to protect them or the public in my view.

One of the many examples of the systemic failures are Family Group Conference's (FGC) which I now call ForeGone Conclusions, because CYF can choose who can or can not attend and what information will or won't be presented, when and where, at what time, and how long they get for the FGC to take place.

By these factors alone they can predetermine the outcome. Let alone the fact it's their almost unquestionable version of events that can be based on hearsay or anonymous complaints or dubious interview tactics with children, (loaded or leading questions). The FGC process is like a kangaroo court at times yet they are the only judicial type process in which your family is allowed to be the jury.

CYF will tell you over 90% of FGC's result in a family agreement being reached, so yes if you can stack the deck it helps. Also owing to the fact Family Court lawyers are hard to get. Some people have been lulled into a false sense of security by thinking if they agree with CYF; they might get more say into what happens to the child. I have been to few well run FGC's that live up to the spirit of the Act that was intended. I think the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 (CYPF Act) is a brilliant bit of legislation, however the applications or interpretations of how it's used by CYF seems to me, to be the problem.

People blame the family court judges for some decisions, which I think is unfair, afterall they can only go on what is presented to them by CYF, thus bad nformation Leeds to bad decisions being made. I agree with Celia Lashlie' s claims that CYF have "unbridled power", and everyone I know that has come up against them agrees. There were 5446 children removed from their families by CYF as at June this year, thatís a lot of families effected. Source

I don't think its good enough just to see the problems without also trying to find a way to resole them, that's why I started the petition and to spite having dyslexia put out some documents to start the debate. So far I have had over 20 million people view my webpage, Blogs, videos, facebook Plaxo and we have a huge following on the internet across all our groups. I use Skype and Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) to advise people from all around New Zealand with CYF issues.

Finally if you have any doubt about the issues many people have with CYF, just do a Google search and follow the links to many other peoples, WebPages, Blogs that support the kinds of things I have been saying.

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