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Key’s policies puff to Christchurch youth

Key’s policies puff to Christchurch youth

by Jackson Payne

National Party Leader John Key’s advice of “don’t smoke” is not good enough, say Christchurch secondary school students.

Key was outlining National’s “Youth Plan” to secondary school students at the Arts Centre Yesterday.

Key talked about tax cuts; bettering the standard of living in New Zealand; student loans and allowances; and stopping the “brain-drain” of our graduates going overseas. For youth, Key said: “If I can give you one piece of advice, it’s don’t smoke.”

Marian College student Penelope Bundy, 15, said, “I think he has some good policies but he isn’t actually addressing youths. I want to see him address the issues that will make a difference for youth – I don’t want to see $2 million spent on youth offenders.”

When asked about his policies that affected the majority of those in the room, Key went over his student loan and allowance policies.

Shirley Boy’s High School student Sam Henry, 17, said “When he was asked he didn’t answer what he was actually going to do for us.”

Gloria Grace of the Christchurch Youth Council said, “I think he avoided the questions that the youth wanted to know about.

“It’s quite important for him to offer these kids something that is going to affect them right now.”

Justin Soong of the Young Nationals said, “[Key] was constrained and he was limited by time.

“I think that what John [Key] is trying to do is tell the youth and give them a hands up in what National can offer.”

Key’s “Youth Plan” is to provide universal education for all 16 and 17 year-olds; abolish youth income benefits for those not in school; give the Youth Court power to deal with 12 and 13 year-olds accused of serious crimes; the introduction of year-long disciplinary programmes for youth offenders; and increased sentences for youths convicted of crime


Jackson Payne is a journalism student at the University of Canterbury

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