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New youth crime advisory group ready to go

New youth crime advisory group ready to go

Justice Minister Judith Collins and Associate Justice Minister Chester Borrows today announced the appointment of eight members to the new Youth Crime Action Plan Advisory Group.

The Advisory Group will provide advice to Ministers in the area of youth justice to support the implementation of the Government’s Youth Crime Action Plan.

“We are pleased to announce the inaugural members of the Youth Crime Action Plan Advisory Group as Dr Ian Lambie, Anni Watkin, Dr Tracey McIntosh, Steve Boxer, Superintendent Bruce Bird, Chris Rewha, Witi Ashby and Chairperson Jade Hohaia,” says Ms Collins and Mr Borrows.

“Since June 2011, youth crime has fallen 27 per cent. This is the second time we’ve surpassed our Better Public Services target for youth crime – the most recent target being a 25 per cent reduction by 2017,” Ms Collins says.

“The Youth Crime Action Plan Advisory Group will play an important role in helping us maintain this fantastic progress through the implementation of our 10-year action plan.

“Each of these members brings valuable experience to the group, having knowledge of the youth justice sector and strong community networks. This will ensure we have a practical and long-term impact on key challenges.”

“The Youth Crime Action Plan sets three key challenges in youth justice - working better with communities, creating early and sustainable exits from the system and reducing unnecessary escalation of young offenders,” says Mr Borrows.

“Government agencies will work together more closely and partner with communities (including iwi), parents, schools and others to address youth crime and the factors that lead to offending.

“We look forward to working with the Youth Crime Action Plan Advisory Group to ensure that our children and youth don’t start down the path to a life of crime.”

The Advisory Group comprises up to ten members, appointed by the Minister of Justice.


Jade Hohaia has experience as a Social Sector Trial lead for the Tokoroa area, which has a strong focus on youth engagement and youth development. This work led to the Tokoroa Youth Action Plan, which was launched in 2013 (two years).

Dr Ian Lambie is an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology at the University of Auckland, where he teaches and practices clinical, forensic and child psychology (one year).

Anni Watkin is the manager of the Youth and Cultural Development Society in Christchurch, which provides services for young people who are at risk of, or are involved in, youth offending or underage sex work (one year).

Witi Ashby is the Māori Development Manager / Kaitakawenga for the Mental Health Foundation (two years).

Dr Tracey McIntosh is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Auckland and Joint Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga: Māori Centre for Research Excellence (one year).

Superintendent Bruce Bird is the District Commander for Waikato. He most recently served as the National Manager: Prevention for the NZ Police, during which time he sat on the Youth Justice Governance Group (two years).

Chris Rewha is the Acting Residence Manager of Te Puna Wai ō Tuhinapo Youth Justice Residence in Christchurch (two years).

Steve Boxer is Managing Director of the Mentoring Youth New Direction (MYND) programme with the Foundation for Youth Development. He developed the vision for the programme in 2001 (one year).


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