18 Sep 2013

Bill to restrict child abusers passes first reading

5:30 am on 18 September 2013

Legislation that would place greater restrictions on known and suspected child abusers has unanimously passed its first reading in Parliament.

The Vulnerable Children Bill introduces Child Harm Prevention Orders, which courts could impose on people not convicted of any crime.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the bill is about protecting vulnerable children.

She's told Parliament she makes no apology for its bold and controversial nature.

Labour's social development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says the Child Harm Prevention Orders that could stop an adult living with children or going to places where children often are, for up to ten years, are potentially heavy-handed.

The bill will now be considered by the Social Services committee.