Youth Justice Indicators reveal continued fall in youth offending rates

The latest Youth Justice Indicators Summary Report shows a continuing drop in the rate of youth offending, Justice Minister Kris Faafoi says.

The result follows the substantial drop in youth offending which was identified in the first Youth Justice Indicators Summary Report two years ago.

“This latest report shows that between 2009/10 and 2019/20, offending rates among children aged 10 to 13 dropped by 63 percent. Over the same period, offending rates among young people aged 14 to 16 dropped by 65 percent,” Minister Faafoi said.

“Significantly, the Youth Court appearance rate nearly halved (decreased by 47 percent) between 2016/17 and 2019/20 for Māori, compared with a 27 percent reduction for European/Other.”

The report shows the flow of children and young people through the youth justice system from 2009/2010 to 2019/2020. Oranga Tamariki, Police, and the Ministry of Justice each capture data about the performance of the youth justice system which is then analysed to produce the report.

“These reports help those involved in the youth justice system better understand the issues and trends that arise. These latest results are encouraging and show the youth justice system has performed well over the last 10 years,” Kris Faafoi said.

The number of Pasifika young people whose offending is serious enough to lead to a family group conference or court action decreased by 63 percent between 2009/10 and 2019/20. This compared with a 54 percent reduction for Māori and 69 percent decrease for European/Other.

“Recent trends are particularly positive for rangatahi Māori and build on progress noted in previous reports. The number of young Māori aged 14 to 16 who appeared in the Youth Court reduced by 41 percent from 2016/17 to 2019/20, from 1,375 to 810. The Youth Court appearance rate for Māori decreased by 47 percent over the same period.

“While the results are encouraging, this report also shows that there are opportunities in the youth justice system to further reduce youth offending. For example, despite encouraging findings for rangatahi Māori, the numbers of young Māori appearing before the Youth Court in 2019/20  were 8.3 times higher than the numbers of European/Other. 

“The information in these reports contributes to discussion and action around how best to hold young offenders to account, while also recognising their needs and vulnerability so that positive differences can be made in their lives,” Kris Faafoi said.

The report can be found at: