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Clear Case of Privileged Treatment

Darroch Ball MP

Spokesperson for Social Development and Youth Affairs
27 SEPTEMBER 2016

Clear Case of Privileged Treatment

The decision to discharge young rugby player Losi Filipo without conviction is too light and it’s right that the Solicitor-General should be investigating this, says New Zealand First.

“This was a clear case of a rugby star getting privileged treatment,” says Spokesperson for Social Development and Youth Affairs Darroch Ball.

“Everyone must be treated equal under the law and perpetrators of violence against others should be held to account – having a promising career in rugby should not change that.

“Rugby gets tainted by off-field violence involving high-profile players with over inflated egos, and rugby must take some responsibility to stop this happening.

“It’s in rugby’s interests that young players are properly guided through the transition from top adolescent players to mature adults, showing potential to become professional. Many of these young players are picked up at a young age, treated as rugby ‘gods’, and gain a false sense of who they are.

“This lax decision suggests there is a trend to going soft on 17-year-olds – Mr Filipo’s age at the time of the assault.

“More and more, behaviour like this will go on unpunished if the government continues down the path of raising the youth court age to 17.

“It will be apparent to New Zealanders that cases of this nature should be deliberated with the full force of the law.

“Being young enough to miss out on the prospect of a promising rugby career should not be a factor in sentencing a crime of this degree,” says Mr Ball.

ENDS


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