Parliament

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

 

Why New Zealand is so violent

Jim Anderton MP Sun Aug 22 1999

Jim Anderton
MPNew Zealand will keep its place as the most violent country in the developed world after South Africa until we get full employment, a victim-centred justice system and a vastly improved mental health system, Alliance leader Jim Anderton says.

He's pointing to the small North Island town of Mangakino, where 38-year old police constable Murray Stretch was killed this year, as a tragic example of what happens when unemployment swells. Mangakino has an unemployment rate of 28%, compared with a national unemployment rate of 7.7%.

A British Home Office survey shows New Zealand trails only South Africa for the highest crime rate in the developed world. Jim Anderton says the problem will get worse until the Government invests in jobs.

'The Government just keeps building more prisons. When they double the number of people in jail, then they also double the number of victims. They are admitting failure. If they invested the same money in jobs, they wouldn't need the extra prisons.

'Some of the problem lies in the loss of basic values which hold a community together, such as respect, honesty, selflessness, compassion and tolerance. The government can provide leadership, but it can't legislate for values.

'There isn't one simple answer, but if there was one single magic wand I could wave to reduce crime and violence, it would be full employment. That doesn't make unemployment an excuse for crime, but I am certain that if we halved the rate of joblessness, we would halve the rate of crime and halve the rate of violence.

'Unemployment won't come down and we will remain a violent society for as long as New Zealand is run by New Right economic policies.'

With only 41% of assaults by a stranger being reported to police, Jim Anderton said a victim-centred justice system was long overdue.

'Violence is not reported when victims feel powerless. If the justice system was made more responsive to the needs of victims then the perpetrators of violence would have to face up to their behaviour and reform themselves.'

Improving the mental health system would mean that potentially violent individuals received the care they needed, reducing their propensity to harm themselves and others.

'It's a common mistake to say everyone who is mentally ill could become violent. But what we do have to acknowledge is that a distrubingly high proportion of prison inmates are former psychiatric patients. We would do far more for victims and for the prisoners themselves if people could get mental health care, instead of waiting until they have harmed someone and then throwing them in jail,' Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>

 

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels