Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Private Member’s Bill “Utterly Wrong Approach”


Media Release
13 August 2001


No Sense in Punishing Parents
Private Member’s Bill “Utterly Wrong Approach”


A national provider of services for at-risk young people says a campaign to make parents financially responsible for the crimes of their children is naive and counter productive.

The Clinical Director of the Richmond Fellow New Zealand, Dr Mike Reid, says he is alarmed at a Bill being promoted by National MP Tony Steel. Mr Steel’s Youth Offenders (Parental Responsibility) Bill would empower the courts to award costs against the parents of youth offenders and to demand improved parenting skills.

“We acknowledge that New Zealand has a major youth offending problem, but we fail to see the point in making parents financially responsible for youth crime,” says Dr Reid. “Many parents of youth offenders are already disadvantaged financially, so to put them under further pressure would only force them into a hopeless situation.

“We would welcome a proper process for examining the causes of youth crime and developing a national strategy. We also agree that the Family Group Conference is failing to prevent re-offending, and needs to be re-examined. However, Mr Steel’s Bill is well wide of the mark. It’s punitive, short sighted and fails to tackle the underlining causes of youth offending. Instead of demanding better parenting skills through the courts, it would be better to intervene with the right skills outside the justice system.”

The Fellowship, which launched national Specialist Youth Services earlier this year, is advocating the introduction of Multi Systemic Therapy (MST) to deal with complex underlying causes of youth offending. “It’s important to note that effective interventions are available for at-risk young people, but in New Zealand we’ve been slow to introduce new techniques,” says Dr Reid.

“With MST we would have a very reasonable chance to prevent a young offender from entering the adult justice system. Here in New Zealand we still focus on containing the young person, often for around 18months with no real measure of success.”

The Fellowship has raised $100,000 from corporate supporters to introduce MST, following success in the UK, United States, Norway and Canada. “We’re somewhat alarmed that agencies in New Zealand have overlooked the potential of MST, and that’s why we’ve gone to the private sector for support. It’s significant that we have attracted this level of backing for an area that has not traditionally received corporate funding.”

“Tony Steel is correct in saying that young offenders often go on to commit more serious crimes, but punishing their parents won’t change that. It’s an utterly wrong approach. What we urgently need is Government support for effective and evidence based intervention services such as MST.”

Ends
Further information:
Dr Gerry Walmisley, Chief Executive Officer, Phone 03 365 3211
Dr Mike Reid, Clinical Director, Phone 365 3211

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Raising Corporate Taxes Has Become A Hot New Political Cause

Surprisingly, “raising taxes” has become a very fashionable political idea in 2021. That’s right. After decades of being seen (at best) as a necessary evil, higher corporate taxes are now being treated as the Great Good Thing that will revive the US economy, re-distribute wealth productively, help to build neglected and decaying public infrastructure, fund public health, address social inequality, restore a sense of community and generally make everyone feel better about the society in which they live... More>>

 

Government: The Duke Of Edinburgh

9 April 2021 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today expressed New Zealand’s sorrow at the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. “Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen at this profoundly sad time. On behalf of the New ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Delivers Next Phase Of Climate Action

The Government is delivering on a key election commitment to tackle climate change, by banning new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels. This is the first ... More>>

Government: Independent Experts To Advise On Post-Vaccination Future

The Government is acting to ensure decisions on responding to the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic are informed by the best available scientific evidence and strategic public health advice. “New Zealand has worked towards an elimination ... More>>

Health: Drug-Testing Law To Be Made Permanent

Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>

World Travel: New Zealand Temporarily Suspending Travel From India - PM Jacinda Ardern

Travel into New Zealand from India - including for New Zealand citizens and residents - is being temporarily suspended because of high numbers of Covid-19 cases. More>>

Finance: Crown Accounts Again Better Than Forecast

Hon Grant Robertson Minister of Finance The economic recovery from COVID-19 continues to be reflected in the Government’s books, which are again better than expected. The Crown accounts for the eight months to the end of February 2021 showed both OBEGAL ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels