- False Allegations - Fathers wrongly accused
Wellington: Young girls were sexually abused at Glenelg Health
Camp in Christchurch by a woman health officer who then accused
their fathers of the offences, it was alleged in Parliament
Act New Zealand MP Deborah Coddington said families were destroyed
by the accusations while successive governments ignored a
She said that in 1987, three girls became state wards and
were sent to the health camp.
"A state employee sexually abused these little girls
and no government has ever done anything except sweep this
scandal under the carpet," she said.
Speaking under parliamentary privilege, Ms Coddington named
the woman health officer.
"Dr . . . , without the parents' permission and with
no other adult present, repeatedly examined these little girls
in a way that can only be described as sexual abuse,"
"She kept saying to these little girls, `this is what
your fathers do to you, isn't it'."
Ms Coddington said the doctor managed to convince the Department
of Social Welfare the girls were being sexually abused by
their fathers, and they were not allowed home to their families
until their mothers agreed to separate from their husbands.
"The police investigated these men and found not a shred
of evidence that these men had sexually abused their daughters,"
"These families have been destroyed. One of these girls,
who I am in contact with now, is a very, very damaged young
"She was put in foster care, she was abused in foster
care, she lived on the streets from age 11. Eventually, she
found her way back to her father."
Ms Coddington said there had to be an inquiry.
"She [the woman doctor] might well be innocent but she
needs to be brought to an inquiry, which I have asked this
House to instigate."
"The state has enormous powers . . . and it has abused
those powers. The state can try to do something to put it
Ms Coddington released a letter she sent to Justice Minister
Phil Goff dated May 6. In it, she said the three girls were
publicly identified in a TVNZ Assignment programme in 1995
and she had spoken with one of them and her father, and with
the mother of a second girl.
She asked the minister "to immediately order a select
committee inquiry into what went on at the Glenelg Health
Camp in the years 1987-88". - NZPA
Thursday, 13-May 2004