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NZ First: The Only Save The Children Party

Rt Hon Winston Peters

Public Meeting

Loaves and Fishes

Wellington

12.00pm Friday 19 July 2002

New Zealand First: The Only Save The Children Party

You will know by now that New Zealand First is concentrating on three key issues this election campaign.

Your right to a safe society

Your right to be treated as equal

And your right to decide who will be welcomed into our country.

We will wage war on crime, we will stop the racially based policies that are creating two New Zealands, and we will stop the flood of immigration into New Zealand at seven times Australia’s real rate.

THREE THINGS

THREE THINGS IN THREE YEARS.

It’s not that other things are not important.

They are.

It’s not that we haven’t got anything to say about them.

We have.

In fact if you want to look at our other policies then you can visit our website:

www.nzfirst.org.nz

or you can pick up one of our policy pamphlets entitled “Yes We Can!”

But we do not want to dilute our message.

There are some fundamental problems with this beautiful country of ours.

And we are going to fix them.

Today we will deal with one of our most fundamental problems, and one which is of great concern to families all over the country.

Youth offending.

Between 1997 and 2000 over 500 children aged 13 or less were apprehended for drink-driving.

Every Monday we pick up our papers and read about the local mayhem caused by young people who have been binge drinking.

Up and down the country we have witnessed violent attacks and home invasions where some of the perpetrators have been pre-teen.

Our schoolteachers tell of the difficulties they have teaching kids high on drugs after lunch. Where once some of the ‘naughty’ kids had a smoke behind the bike sheds now they share a joint or increasingly partake of speed and other amphetamines.

Where once this was a glossed over problem at the secondary level it is now not an irregular occurrence in primary and intermediate schools.

The growing gang culture in our country continues to attract many of our young people. Prospects are actively courted and many of these children begin a life of crime.

Because they are small enough to get in windows they are introduced to the burglary circuit. Besides, if they are caught they will get slapped over the wrist with a wet bus ticket and the real (adult) perpetrators will be scot-free.

Because they go to schools with hundreds of other young people they will be used to peddle drugs and recruit their friends. A recent newspaper report noted that 13 year olds were being used to buy raw materials for the manufacture of the increasingly prevalent drug methamphetamine (speed).

The booty from these crimes gives these young impressionable people access to material wealth that they otherwise would not have. The cash they can receive is converted into drugs and alcohol. The good time they have today is at the cost of their health, their education, and their future.

The messages they get from society are that it is OK unless you get caught, that if you get caught nothing much will happen, and after nothing much has happened you can do it all again.

And more sinisterly, you may have little choice about continuing because of the pressure of the gang and gang-like cultures that increasingly pervade our society.

Last week five teenage girls carrying a 24cm kitchen knife, a hockey stick, baseball bats and a golf club were arrested on the way to a gang-related fight in the Hutt Valley.

But it is happening everywhere, not just in this region.

We can point the finger at our schoolteachers, underpaid and undervalued and increasingly social workers rather than educators.

We can point the finger at parents.............many of them financially struggling and increasingly in a solo situation.

We can point the finger at Government departments like CYFS, under resourced and under siege.

We can point the finger at the Police with neither the powers nor the time and certainly not the numbers to deal with this rising tide.

We can put it all down to unfortunate economic social conditions that are particularly rife in some communities.

Or we can continue to overlook these problems and just put it down as kids being kids.

Just kids boozing, driving illegally and killing themselves and others, committing burglaries, misusing drugs, being increasingly violent and anti -social, raping, and murdering.

Or perhaps we should point the finger at our politicians?

Some politicians must surely take responsibility for the legal framework that provides the guidelines for dealing with youth offending.

Family Group Conferences may well have been effective for handling some youth justice issues but fail miserably in many of the circumstances described above.

Some politicians must surely take responsibility for lowering the drinking age, and for a more liberal attitude to cannabis and other drugs.

Some politicians must surely take responsibility for the under resourcing of many of our social institutions and the poor training of many who are called upon to work with our youth.

And we must look at the policies that may have contributed to for the breakdown in the family, the undermining of traditional values, and the encouragement of solo parenting through unconditional domestic purpose benefit payments.

This weakening of the family unit is a key factor in many of today’s tragic social statistics.

Some politicians must surely also take responsibility for the divisiveness of the grievance industry that Treaty of Waitangi issues have become.

And Labour and National politicians of 1984 to 1996 must certainly take responsibility for the failed economic experiment that has led to a widening gulf between the haves and have-nots that daily contributes to the increasing violence in our society, a violence born of alienation and desperation.

Political point scoring would reef home the responsibility to both National and Labour politicians of recent decades but the issue is far too important to dwell on the obvious failings of the past. What we need is a policy prescription to allow us to move forward.

New Zealand First’s policy prescription includes:

- Making young people and their parents more accountable to the community for their crimes

- Amending the Children, Young persons, and their Families Act to enable recidivist and serious offenders aged between 12 and 16 to be more appropriately dealt with

- Simplifying and clarifying the power contained in the Act to waive family group conferences in appropriate cases

- Ensuring that violent young offenders should indeed be treated differently from non-violent offenders through

„« special “secure training order’ sentences involving supervised control and intensive rehabilitation

„« other secure and military training options

„« widening the range of offences for which youths are automatically subject to adult processes

- Raising the drinking age and opposing any liberalisation of the laws relating to marijuana and other harmful drugs

- An increased front line police presence based not on a number plucked from the ether but as a result of detailed analysis of police to population ratios

- Increased resources for police education in schools programmes

- Busting the gangs and busting their recruiting programmes

- Increasing use of mandatory minimum sentences with no automatic rights to sentence reduction

- Increasing residential care and emergency accommodation facilities and requiring any “irresponsible’ parents of offenders to undertake appropriate parenting courses before children are returned to their care

- Providing more clearly defined and mutual obligations for the state and beneficiaries (e.g. requiring participation in parenting and family living skills programmes) and encouraging beneficiaries to become independent of the state

- Initiating Family Start Programmes across the country aimed at those children at greatest risk of less than optimal development, and, developing a comprehensive package of parent support and guidance programmes

- Putting an end to the divisions in our society brought about by the Treaty grievance industry

- Providing an economic plan that enables New Zealand to regain first world status and allows all New Zealanders to participate.

According to police statistics recorded crime has fallen by more than 10% in five years.

Is that how it is in your neighbourhood?

Recorded crime may well have have because we simply do not bother to report many offences any more.........because we know that the police will never come.

And if you examine the statistics more closely they bear out that theory.

Dishonesty cases.........down

Property damage cases ..........down

Property abuse cases............down

Really? Down or not reported or actioned?

Either way what is really disturbing is that violent offending has increased dramatically as have offences in the anti social/drugs class.

Could there be a relationship there?

And the nature of some of this violent offending is horrific.

And the age of the offenders..........well that is the most terrifying aspect of these figures.

That and the statistics relating to these young offenders.

Teenage prison inmates are more likely to be reconvicted than older inmates.

In fact 97% of teenaged inmates are reconvicted and nearly three quarters of them will be back in jail within 5 years.

The role that drug use plays in this offending cannot be over estimated.

And we have MPs encouraging drug use!

Something isn’t working!

New Zealand First will fix the lawlessness and violence in our society.

And we’ll start with our most valuable asset - our kids, and prioritise our policies on “entry level crime’.

New Zealand First is the only save the children party in this campaign. All the rest are either too politically correct or just too weak kneed to help.

We cannot stand by and watch another generation line up for a life of crime.

And every father, mother, sister and brother that has been through the misery of drugs in their family has a chance in this election to stop this sabotage of our youth.

Can we fix it?

Yes we can.

Give New Zealand First your party vote.

ENDS


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