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The conditions for children in many of New Zealand’s secure residences are prison-like, dated and bleak, and it’s time to move on better alternatives, Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says.
A new report from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner shows the care of young people in Oranga Tamariki residences is improving but fundamental changes are needed.
Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft is congratulating the New Zealand and Canterbury rugby unions on a new approach to work better with young players accused of misconduct.
“It’s right that young people are held to account when they have breached the code of behaviour expected but how they are held to account is also critically important. We need to remember that we’re dealing with children, not grownups. Using an adult process is not appropriate for a young teenager.”
More funding for independent monitoring has been hailed by the Children’s Commissioner as a significant step forward for children in the care and protection and youth justice systems.
The Government has provided an increase of $0.5 million in Budget 2017, which will help cover up to 6.4 full-time staff positions for the 2017/18 year.
The Family Incomes Package revealed in Budget 2017 has been welcomed by the Children’s Commissioner as good news for children living in families experiencing severe poverty.
“According to the Child Poverty Monitor released in December 2016, 85-90,000 Kiwi kids live in severe hardship. The latest changes to tax thresholds and assistance build on the benefit rate increases in 2016 to relieve the pressure for those Kiwis who are just getting by,” said Judge Andrew Becroft.
Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says a new United Nations-funded report is more compelling evidence why New Zealand should stop locking children in police cells.Download (pdf 114 KB)
The Children’s Commissioner says there will never be a better chance in our lifetimes to improve the lives of the children and young people who need it most than with the launch of the new Oranga Tamariki.
Judge Andrew Becroft says the new agency’s vision must make a genuine difference to children and young people in either care and protection, or in the youth justice system.