Another Youth Justice Failure

23 November 2016

Youth who escaped from a Rotorua youth justice facility allegedly committed a home invasion while on the run – this highlights yet again the serious issues at youth justice facilities across the country, says New Zealand First.

“There is something seriously wrong when youth assault staff, escape, are on the run for two days and allegedly commit a home invasion, all without the public being informed of the danger,” says New Zealand First Social Development Spokesperson Darroch Ball.

“We have been demanding for some time that the Minister for Social Development, Anne Tolley, intervene as New Zealand’s four youth justice facilities are failing.

“Last year, we received information regarding serious allegations about unsafe practices at Korowai Manaaki and we called for immediate intervention then.

“Last month, youth had to be talked off the roof of the same South Auckland facility, after assaulting staff and taking keys.

“In the latest incident at Rotorua’s Te Maioha o Parekarangi youth justice facility three staff were assaulted.

“Police were unable to warn the public that youth had escaped because they were obliged to protect the rights of the youth offenders.

“New Zealand First wants answers from Minister Tolley. We want to know why she has not stepped in with a full ministerial review and interim oversight of the running of these facilities,” says Mr Ball.