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Harsher penalties no cure for tagging

15 February 2008

Harsher penalties no cure for tagging - Maori Party Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party

The government's crackdown on 'the tagging sub-culture' may offer temporary relief to frustrated property owners, but not solve the problem long-term, says the Maori Party.

Co-leader Tariana Turia says she knows from personal experience how annoying tagging can be - her own fence has been tagged.

"If we want to change the behaviour of young people, though, at some point we have to engage with them," she said.

"These young people are the future of our nation. As citizens, we must all invest in them," said Mrs Turia.

"I know that restorative justice can work, and I'm pleased to see increased funding for that. Meetings between offenders and victims should be the first response to anti-social behaviour."

"Around the country there are some very successful prevention programmes that involve young people in positive alternatives, and they may get increased funding and support as well, which is good."

"I have said before - the cure is in the care. The solution to tagging is in the way we look after our young people and involve them in family and community life.

"Without social support programmes, harsher laws and increased punishments on their own will just increase the alienation of young offenders, and they will not work," said Mrs Turia.


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