Rotorua parents spoken to by The Daily Post feel it will be too intrusive if spot checks on young children are made compulsory in an effort to stamp out child abuse.
Rotorua Coroner Wallace Bain released his findings into the death of 3-year-old Nia Glassie this week recommending spot checks be done on children aged from birth to 5 to avoid a similar tragedy. He also wants checks on children of solo parents, children of single working parents or families where children have been identified as being at risk of violence or abuse for a longer period.
He is recommending information sharing between Government agencies, schools, health organisations and childcare agencies when there is concern about children.
The mother of a 3-year-old, Trisha Lucas, told The Daily Post it would be highly intrusive for many families if someone were to turn up unannounced and start questioning their ability as parents.
"It will be an absolute intrusion of their privacy. It's too much like big brother for me," she said.
The mother of adult children, Pat Civil, said the coroner's calls were fair considering children in New Zealand were being abused but visits needed to be non-intrusive.
"It's a good idea so long as it's not an obvious intrusion-type check," she said.
Sole parent Gemma White said it was unfair to single out single parents. "If there is no reason for concern then it's outright discrimination," she said.
Rotorua mayor Kevin Winters supported Dr Bain's recommendations even if people felt it would be intrusive. "[Dr Bain] has hit the nail on the head," he said. "We have to draw a line in the sand ... if the state has to intervene to this type of offence then maybe we have to become a nanny state."
Mr Winters held two mayoral conferences with social agencies following Nia's death and said it was clear then agencies weren't communicating with each other on the issue. However, since then the Rotorua Safer Families group had been formed.
"They are talking to each other now," he said.
Rotorua Labour MP Steve Chadwick agreed with Dr Bain's ideas to combat child abuse but added all children should be registered with a Well Child agency from the day they were born. Currently they are not registered until 6weeks, she said.
She wants all babies visited by a nurse in the home.
"Some children just get missed and that's not good enough ... nurses can walk through the front door," she said. "They can see what is going on and the broken windows and holes in the walls and recognise this family is under stress and needs help."
Rotorua National MP Todd McClay welcomed Dr Bain's calls for spot checks on children and information sharing between agencies to keep vulnerable children safe.
Mr McClay said Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett's green paper addressed the issue of reporting child abuse and care of vulnerable children and adults in our communities.
Child abuse had to be stamped out and the coroner's recommendations would help make the changes needed, he said. "There is far, far too much child abuse in New Zealand. We have to seriously consider what measures we need to take to ensure children in our community are taken care of and not harmed so our children are better looked after."