Labour's young offender hypocrisy

  • Roger Sowry
Social Services, Work and Income

Labour's latest social policy supports the secure facilities for young offenders which Government has been building around the country - but Labour MPs are still obstructing new facilities.

"I hope that now Labour has decided to formally back our Residential and Youth Services Strategy, Helen Clarke will rein in MPs like George Hawkins and Paul Swain, who are constantly trying to stop CYPFA building new secure facilities," said Roger Sowry, Minister of Social Services.

"We've been working very hard to encourage communities to help us provide safe, secure places where these kids can get the help they need.

"That's been constantly undermined by Labour MPs, who have been out agitating against these sites.

Mr Sowry also pointed out that it was Dr Michael Cullen who caused the severe lack of residential places that CYPFA has had to address.

"Dr Cullen closed around 300 residential beds in 1990 alone in his stint as Minister, and it's taken a huge amount of time and money for us to open new ones over the past few years.

"However, I'm proud that we've just opened the country's first purpose-built residential treatment facility for adolescents who sexually abuse, are almost ready to open the first securely-designed facility for young offenders in Palmerston North, have one in Christchurch underway and have just announced another site in Wiri, in South Auckland.