Is That It, Phil?

  • Tony Ryall
Youth Affairs

"Labour's Youth Justice policy lacks any new ideas. Mr Goff has endorsed National's approach to turning young people from a life of crime. National's ideas for the future are setting the agenda in reducing youth crime", says Justice Minister, Tony Ryall.

"Labour has taken the programmes already being implemented by the National-led Government and claimed them as future policy. It's a sad reflection of a Party devoid of talent and ideas.

"While it's flattering to see Mr Goff endorsing our policies, Labour risks being prosecuted for theft!

"Labour says its 'policy' is based on Family Start, Project Wraparound, truancy programmes, programmes to stop bullying in schools, community-based programmes, and purpose built facilities for young offenders.

"Every one of these is a programme or initiative developed and implemented by National-led Governments.

"The only 'new' initiatives in Labour's policy are fingerprinting and allowing the Youth Court to sentence young offenders for longer.

"I announced both of these initiatives at the National Party conference in July as part of National's comprehensive new plan to deal with youth offending. National has a lot more ideas to improve the current system.

"At the Conference I announced our plan to give judges and the Police more powers and options to deal with repeat young offenders.

"Our approach to juvenile crime will emphasize personal responsibility, and we will not shy from making the punishment fit the crime.

"Key initiatives being investigated in our plan are:

  • Electronic monitoring of serious young offenders;
  • Giving judges the power to require parents to attend parenting courses if their children are offending because of a lack of parenting skills;
  • Increasing access to juvenile records for all court types;
  • Expanding the "youth at risk" initiatives that focus on persistent and serious young offenders;
  • Clarifying the retention of identification evidence from young offenders including fingerprints;
  • Inviting the police to start joint patrols with probation and CYPS officers;
  • Longer supervision orders;
  • Target truancy.

"What's really sad is that youth offending is one of Labour's key election platforms listed on its little credit card.

"This 'policy' is nothing but meaningless words. Labour hasn't even provided estimates of costs.

"Perhaps it's appropriate Mr Goff chose Black-Friday to launch his brave new policies.

"Nine years and no new ideas ", said Mr Ryall.