Young people deserve better

The National Party’s plan to put children into military boot camps is so flawed it is dangerous.

“Our young people and their whānau deserve interventions that work – mental healthcare, addiction treatment, inclusive education, and secure homes” says the Green Party’s justice spokesperson, Golriz Ghahraman.

“National is not interested in doing anything useful to address crime. They are only interested in looking “tough” even at the expense of community safety.

“Today’s announcement is perhaps best described as a performance of cruelty. An approach proven to increase crime, the last time they tried it, whose central purpose is to stoke fear and racism.

“Youth crime is an area with extremely credible research. We know from this that the overwhelming majority of kids who offend have experienced serious abuse or trauma soon before the offending, mental health challenges and learning disability. Rather than use that research to keep them from a life of crime, National would rather treat our young people with contempt. 

“National is politicking through crime, exploiting valid community concerns and victims’ fears to stigmatise and demonise entire communities in order to win votes. It’s disgusting.

“To all those community leaders and organisations who work tirelessly to support our families away from a life of crime, the Green Party thanks you.

“We have a long way to go but we are making a difference. We know we need more community-led interventions that heal our young people and support them to thrive.

“Mental health and abuse treatment, affordable housing, inclusive education, good incomes.

“These are the interventions that are proven to keep our young people from a life-time of crime – and these are the interventions the Green Party will keep fighting for,” says Golriz Ghahraman.

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