Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The New Zealand doctor's role in child sexual abuse intervention: A legal analysis

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posted on 2021-11-14, 03:47 authored by Dieckermann, Elizabeth

This paper examines the New Zealand health professional’s role (with an emphasis on doctors) in several aspects of child sexual abuse intervention and treatment. Both current and proposed legal provisions are considered. After an explanation of their important role in this area, the current child protection framework insofar as it is relevant to health professionals is outlined. This is followed by an analysis of changes proposed in the Government’s White Paper for Vulnerable Children and Vulnerable Children Bill which will affect the landscape in which health professionals work. While there are benefits to proposed measures, some raise privacy and ethical concerns, or are inadequate to address the problem. The paper then addresses the legal requirements around the undertaking of medical examinations following a sexual abuse allegation, observing that the legislation raises questions around issues of consent, and making some suggestions for amendment. Finally, the general healthcare needs of adult survivors of abuse are considered.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Name

LL.B. (Honours)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Research Paper or Project



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Law