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Study Makes Link Between Youth Crime & Family

Repeat youth offenders taking part in a study by the Invercargill Safer Communities Council have reinforced the need for strong family relationships to curb youth offending.

ACT MP Dr Muriel Newman said the study confirms that family has a crucial role in curbing youth offending reinforcing the need for Parliament to address ways of strengthening the bonds between children and their parents.

“It certainly adds weight to the need for a Parliamentary Select Committee to investigate my Shared Parenting Bill, currently before the House, since this bill would ensure that after family breakdown, children had frequent and ongoing contact with both their mother and their father,” she said.

“The majority of the youths taking part in the study said they had a poor relationship with one of their natural parents (usually their father) and several of them had never met their biological father. Their stories confirm the concerns that children who lose a parent are at greater risk of poor life outcomes.

“It reinforces the importance of children having the love and support of both parents when relationships break down, instead of the situation we have now where too many children eventually lose contact with their non-custodial parent.

“The report undertaken by the Safer Communities Council is a very important piece of work. I will be writing to other councils around New Zealand to urge them to undertake similar research, so we gain a clearer picture of the damage that the loss of parents is having on wider communities,” said Muriel Newman.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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