Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Youngest Murder Accused to Face Trial

Youngest Murder Accused to Face Trial

Sunday 21 Jul 2002

The twelve-year-old boy who tomorrow will face trial for murder was allowed to drop out of school for two years under Labour, ACT Education Spokesman MP Donna Awatere Huata revealed today.

"I don't want to pass judgement on this case. I do want to speak out against the successive education ministers who have done nothing to keep kids in school.

"The appearance in court of the youngest person accused of murder in New Zealand is shameful for the politicians who have created the perfect conditions for this to occur.

"The twelve-year-old boy did not attend a primary or intermediate school for two whole years before coming in front of the court. He was chucked into the Correspondence system for part of that time - a resource that stretched schools are forced to rely on more and more for children who are completely unsuitable for it. The Correspondence system is designed to cater for kids who live in the wop-wops, not to hide long-term truants and the children that under-resourced schools can't cope with.

"There are hundreds more children who won't attend a day of school this week - the next time we see these children will be in court. The long-term truancy service is hunting for 1,000 more children than five years ago. It is simple for a child as young as seven to drop out of one school and never enrol in another.

"Despite his promises in Opposition in 1999, Education Minister Trevor Mallard hasn't introduced a database to monitor enrolments and find long-term truants. Answers to my parliamentary questions show he hasn't even requested any advice on the subject.

"Helen Clark's last credit card said Labour would `crack down on youth crime'. Labour did nothing until two months ago, when they produced a report that perpetuates the rotten status quo. Violent youth crime has doubled in the past ten years.

"ACT's education and crime policies are designed to avoid having twelve-year-olds appear in court charged with murder. School Choice means new schools will be able to set up specifically to care for the children who fall through the gaps - we won't have to rely on the unsuitable Correspondence system. Devolved funding will give every school more flexibility and resources to cope. We will introduce a central database to find the children who fall through the gaps - a simple and effective solution which has worked abroad.

"ACT calls for a zero tolerance approach to crime. That means eliminating the failed theories behind our youth justice system and sending a clear message to youth offenders while their crimes are still at the `entry level'," Mrs Awatere Huata said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news