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Goff welcomes OECD apology on crime statistics

Goff welcomes OECD apology on crime statistics

Justice Minister Phil Goff today welcomed a letter of apology from the OECD over the publication of misleading juvenile crime figures for New Zealand.

An international comparison of juvenile offending rates recently published by the OECD quoted New Zealand figures for the number of juvenile offences alongside data from other countries that only counted the number of offenders.

As a result, the report erroneously suggested New Zealand had the world's highest teen crime rate.

"I am very pleased with the prompt response by the OECD, which issued an apology when it was drawn to their attention that the comparison was invalid and misleading," Mr Goff said.

"The comparison was invalid because they failed to compare like with like. A single offender who committed 50 offences, for example, would be listed 50 times in New Zealand statistics but only counted once in figures from other countries.

"The OECD has sent a letter of apology to the Ministry of Justice, issued a correction to international media, removed the data from their web site, and included an erratum in hard copies of their publication.

"The government is not complacent about the challenges facing the youth justice area but it is utterly wrong to suggest New Zealand figures are out of line with comparable countries.

"Those members of the ACT party who were so quick to make the most of an opportunity to knock their country should now retract their statements," Mr Goff said.

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