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


Justice Minister Plays 'Yes Minister' With Himself

Justice Minister Plays 'Yes Minister' With Himself

Friday 6 Sep 2002 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

Phil Goff's announcement that the Ministry of Justice has sole leadership in the area of youth justice takes spin and cynicism to new heights, ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

Mr Goff's comments accompanied the release of Ministry of Justice briefing papers today.

"Mr Goff said this move "would improve clarity over lines of accountability, responsibility for leadership and effective project implementation". This follows his admission to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee on Wednesday that the new youth justice co-ordination "teams" are being led by his Ministry.

"The Committee was surprised to hear of an operational function for a 186 person Ministry solely focused at the moment on theorising, policy analysis and advice. The surprise turned to derision when Mr Goff admitted that these new "teams" had no operational role, no new funding, no resource or premises requirements, and no front-line people.

"Instead it seems they are all that is emerging from the much vaunted and long postponed Youth Justice Report issued in April. The report concluded that nearly everything the Government was doing in Youth justice was hunky dory - but we just need to do more, and co-ordinate more.

"The report obfuscated the reality that on-the-ground co-ordination in a few areas works well because dedicated and focused individual police and welfare and youth work officers make it happen, but in most places bureaucratic obstruction frustrates everyone. Meanwhile serious youth crime mushrooms. The youth justice report was held up for nearly six months while the authors tried to get clear sole budget authority for one agency. They failed.

"The talkative Mr Goff did not manage to persuade the Committee that his "senior level" policy wonks from Justice would make any difference to the tensions at the coal face. Nevertheless seemingly without embarrassment he issues his spin with the briefing papers. These elusive new management committees do not represent the leadership and co-ordination promised by the youth justice report. These are political candyfloss for public consumption.

"This is just the Minister playing Yes Minister with himself," Stephen Franks said.

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

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election