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PM encourages fresh start for young people

Rt Hon John Key

Prime Minister

29 November 2010

Media Statement

PM encourages fresh start for young people

Prime Minister John Key today welcomed the graduation of the first military-style activity camp under the National-led Government’s Fresh Start youth justice legislation.

Mr Key met the first 10 graduates and their families at a milestone ceremony in Christchurch to mark the completion of the camp.

“I’m impressed with the way the 10 young men who graduated today have stepped up to the challenge presented to them,” says Mr Key.

“Each of these young men has the potential to turn his life around, and this camp has given them all some tools to make that happen.”

Under Fresh Start, serious young offenders can be ordered by the Youth Court to attend military-style activity camps. The camps reinforce self-discipline and personal responsibility and utilise New Zealand Defence Force facilities. The youths who attend also receive continued mentoring, treatment and support for up to a year.

“I want serious young offenders to have every chance to turn their lives around and reach their true potential,” Mr Key says.

“These camps are tough – and that is how they should be. They also give young people the skills they need to change their behaviour and move into the workforce so they can make a positive contribution to our communities.”

The military-style activity camp is the first step in the MAC programme and participants now move into the community phase. During this phase the group remains under supervision orders and have an individual transition plan to help them settle back into their communities.

“This Government introduced Fresh Start legislation to hold young offenders to account and encourage self responsibility,” says Mr Key.

“The next phase is critical, but these young men will get the support and encouragement they need to keep moving forward,” says Mr Key.


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