To be attributed to Judge Frances Eivers, Chief Children’s Commissioner:
“The three changes proposed by Government this week, including building new youth justice residences and lowering the age of criminal responsibility for mokopuna involved in ram-raid activity, paint a worrying and backwards step for our youth justice system.
“These plans, announced in the same week that the United Nations Committee Against Torture is examining our record on children’s rights in detention, are alarming and I want to understand the thinking and consultation that has led to them. We need to remember that we are talking about very small numbers of mokopuna who are involved in this activity.
“These announcements have signalled the Government’s intent in very broad strokes. As an advocate for children’s rights and welfare, we cannot condone law changes that seek to incarcerate children when the emphasis should be on looking at the causes of the offending with a view to eliminating it in the future.”
For media enquiries, please contact:
Melissa Wastney (she/her)
Kaitohutohu - Communications and Media Advisor
Mana Mokopuna | Children and Young People's Commission