Faulty Overseas Studies Used To Raise Youth Court Age

22 March 2017

The government is relying heavily on old studies from the United States, which do not have direct relevance to New Zealand, to raise the youth court age, says New Zealand First Social Development Spokesperson Darroch Ball.


“Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has provided New Zealand First with documents and reports that back her stand raising the court age to include 17-year-olds, and they should not have been used.


“They comprise non-peer reviewed studies, technical reports, systemic reviews and have wide limitations.


“Only one New Zealand document was included which was a comparative study of 16 and 17-year-olds.


“This document also revealed limitations which included comparing two different ages that have different re-offending likelihoods and no consideration was made for any background litigating factors when it came to re-offending.


“This government has once again ridden roughshod over its claims of making decisions based on strong evidence.


“The New Zealand Police Association said today a rise in the court age would result in increased offending, and New Zealand First agrees.


“It is doubly wrong that the government has made that decision based on old studies conducted overseas which have little or no relevance to New Zealand,” says Mr Ball.