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


Youth beds urgently needed

29 May 2006

Girl denied basic needs shows youth beds urgently needed

News that a 16-year-old girl was left for three days in a cell at Henderson Police Station without a shower or sanitary protection is appalling and highlights an urgent need for more youth justice beds, Green Party Child Youth and Family Spokesperson Sue Bradford says.

Auckland Judge Heemi Taumaunu highlighted the girl's plight during a special sitting on Saturday held to ensure the girl, who is remanded in custody facing several charges relating to resisting arrest and burglary, received a shower and personal supplies, saying she seemed to have been treated worse than an adult would have been in the same situation.

"Police cells are not designed for long term detention for anyone, let along young offenders, and the fact that a Judge needed to call a special hearing just to ensure this young girl received a shower and sanitary supplies shows that they are clearly inadequate and inappropriate for holding young people," Ms Bradford says.

"I have also seen reports that judges are so concerned about the problem that they are granting bail to violent young offenders rather that leaving them in police cells, and last week up to 17 children were waiting for a bed. When this is happening something is clearly wrong with the system.

Ms Bradford says the fact that more youth justice beds are so urgently needed makes it very frustrating that a site has still not been found for a planned new youth justice facility.

"I know there is a problem finding a suitable site in the Waikato / Bay of Plenty area but I am mystified as to why the Government doesn't save time and money by using land it already owns. There is land at Waikeria, where a new purpose built facility could be constructed right away rather than going through protracted, expensive processes.

"A few weeks ago the Social Services Select Committee, of which I am a member, visited the new youth justice facility in Manukau. It was ironic that the focus of our visit turned into a public row about a powhiri instead of a dialogue about what is and isn't happening for young people in the youth justice system. This recent case highlights just how important it is that we give this problem our full attention," Ms Bradford says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“The BPS and the Treasury’s Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update show we can deliver our promises while running sustainable surpluses and paying down debt...

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>


Principals' Federation: End Of National Standards

Today the Minister of Education announced that the Government has stopped the controversial National Standards system of assessment and declared them an arbitrary measure which did not raise children's achievement as the previous Government intended. More>>


Public Good: People’s Report On Public Broadcasting And Media Presented

The People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting and Media, was crowdfunded and was informed by an extensive consultation, seeking the views of both those working in Media as well as gathering input both online and in person from ordinary Citizens. More>>





Featured InfoPages