21 September 2023  Media Releases

Rapid review of youth justice system is just the beginning

Children and Young People’s Commission - Mana Mokopuna welcomes the Independent Rapid Review of residences released today by Oranga Tamariki and acknowledges all mokopuna whose lives have been impacted by the system.

Chief Children’s Commissioner Judge Frances Eivers says the findings in the report in large part reflect the recommendations in the Commission’s own monitoring reports over years.

“Mana Mokopuna welcomes the report’s focus on ensuring there is a better model of care for young people.

The review outlines a vision where support and intervention matches the needs of each young person, with an emphasis on prevention, specialised care, therapeutic intervention, and whakapapa.

Mana Mokopuna supports that potential vision. This approach must be underpinned by strong partnerships with Māori, with community organisations, a strengthened workforce and adequate investment.

System change takes time. We see that some positive change is already underway, but this must be built on, with urgency.

We will continue to monitor places where mokopuna are kept in detention, and advocate for their rights under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The views and experiences of mokopuna must drive the transformation of the youth justice system. Mana Mokopuna will continue to ensure that mokopuna are supported to live their best lives – kia kuru pounamu te rongo.”

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Editor’s notes

Mana Mokopuna – Children and Young People’s Commission (Mana Mokopuna) is a voice for children and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Previously the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, Mana Mokopuna is an independent advocate for all 1.2 million mokopuna aged under 18 in Aotearoa and care-experienced mokopuna aged up to 25.

Mana Mokopuna exists to promote and advance the rights, interests, participation and wellbeing of mokopuna, within the context of their whānau and communities.

Our monitoring role

Children and Young People’s Commission – Mana Mokopuna is recognised as a National Preventative Mechanism (NPM) under the Optional Protocol on the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). This means we can access and monitor places where mokopuna are held in detention across Aotearoa.

When our monitoring teams visit places of detention we speak to mokopuna and staff about what it is like in these facilities. Based on what we hear and see we then write reports about our findings and we can highlight concerns.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Melissa Wastney

Kaitohutohu - Senior Communications and Media Advisor

Mana Mokopuna | Children and Young People's Commission

melissa.wastney@manamokopuna.org.nz 029 909 2715