31 Jul 2011

NZ First says Govt needs harder line on child abuse

9:56 pm on 31 July 2011

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the Government needs to take a harder line on child abusers.

On Sunday he told more than 300 party members at their annual conference that the Government's green paper on child abuse, which was released this week, will have no effect on the rate of violence on young people.

Mr Peters says the Government's green paper lacks two vital things - recommendations and accountability.

He says if New Zealand First returns to Parliament, he will repeal the anti-smacking law, and replace it with harsher penalties for abusers.

Mr Peters is also pledging to halve student debt but would not go into the policy details yet.

He says the party needs to focus on getting young people into jobs and ensuring they are paid well.

Sticking to the party's core values, he also told members it would stop asset sales and return the foreshore and seabed to all New Zealanders.

Mr Peters says he will say soon whether he will run for an electorate seat, but says there is no doubt New Zealand First will return to parliament after the November election.