In 2011 the New Zealand Government released a discussion document for vulnerable children (NZ Government. Green Paper for Vulnerable Children: Every child thrives, belongs, achieves. Wellington: Ministry of Social Development, 2011. 40 p) calling for submissions regarding possible policy changes and delivery of services to improve outcomes for vulnerable children. Mandatory reporting of child abuse was one consideration.
In January 2012 Social Development Minister Paula Bennett was reported as saying that “enforcing mandatory reporting of suspected abuse” was gaining support (ONE News. Mandatory reporting of suspected abuse gains popularity. TVNZ 26 Jan 2012)
A leading NZ pediatrician Dr Kelly was reported in the media on a number of occasions calling for mandatory reporting:
Should the reporting of abuse be mandatory? by Jan Corbett, NZ Herald, 12 August 2000.
ONE News Doctors query who child abuse should be reported to. 29 Jun 2011
As Editor of the Journal of Primary Health Care I publish a Back to Back debate each issue with experts arguing for or against a moot. I chose mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse for the March 2012 issue. However after numerous inquiries and requests I was unable to find anyone to argue the affirmative (in support of mandatory reporting). I therefore published my own viewpoint with the desire to stimulate rigorous debate by general practitioners about whether or not they want the introduction of such legislation.
Should New Zealand introduce mandatory reporting by general practitioners of suspected child abuse? NO
Goodyear-Smith FA. Journal of Primary Health Care, 2012; 4 (1):77-79
Mandatory reporting full text
Mandatory reporting of sexual abuse
Goodyear-Smith F New Zealand Medical Journal, 106, 530, 8 Dec 1993