Children’s Commissioner at odds w Justice System
THE FAMILY PARTY
PRESS STATEMENT FOR RELEASE
Children’s Commissioner at odds with Justice System
16 April 2008. Family Party leader Richard Lewis has commended Judge Tony Adeane for handing down a 28-day sentence to a tagger who appeared in the Hastings District Court yesterday. In sentencing, the Judge described tagging as neither art nor culture but covert, criminal behaviour.
“Contrary to the views of the Children’s Commissioner, young people who damage and disrespect property that belongs to others need to understand they are committing a crime and cannot hide behind a defence of art or culture.” says Mr Lewis.
The judge described tagging as a serious crime that destroys property, causes untold misery for ordinary householders and businesses, and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to clean up.
Mr Lewis took the opportunity to compare the response from Judge Adeane to that of Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro, who told a Select Committee that for some people, graffiti and tagging are seen as legitimate art forms. The Government later distanced itself from the Children’s Commissioners comments.
“I think Cindy Kiro needs to re-evaluate her position on this issue because it’s highly inappropriate for the Children’s Commissioner to be at odds with New Zealand’s Justice System,” says Mr Lewis.