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End race-based funding for young crims

Hon Tony Ryall

National Law and Order Spokesman

17 March 2004


End $10 million race-based funding for young crims

National is calling for the end of a $10 million race-based fund which
buys computers, gym memberships, sports shoes and music lessons for young
offenders who are Maori.

Ministers Tariana Turia and Steve Maharey announced the Maori Youth
Contestable Fund in June 2000, to fund initiatives developed by Maori
which aim to reduce Maori youth offending. The fund provided $1 million in
2000-01 and $3 million for each of the following three years.

Official documents show the race-based programme is targeted only at Maori
youth between 10 and 16 who 'have been regularly committing offences and
this offending is escalating in frequency or severity'.

"This is raced-based funding of the worst order. It rewards young
offenders with taxpayers money with no regard for victims or the
community. It must be stopped.

"In one case, a 15 year old Christchurch youth, who was a recidivist
offender well-known to Police, received around $1200 for a computer
through this fund. Apparently the computer was a 'carrot' to stop
re-offending.

"Even though she has received the computer, the offender is reported as
continuing to re-offend.

"There are suggestions the offender was also given the computer so she
could write a letter of apology to her victim and keep in touch with her
CYFS case manager.

"This is another example of Labour's politically-correct race-based
policies. $16,500 for each Maori youth, but nothing for non-Maori youth
who are also at risk," said Mr Ryall.


Ends


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