“What sort of values does it teach when the Government buys youth justice escapees over $1100 worth of fast food for assaulting staff and breaking out? We need to be teaching the values of right and wrong. Not rewarding people for causing chaos,” says ACT’s Children spokesperson Karen Chhour.
“The AM Show revealed this morning how much taxpayers’ money was spent bribing misbehaving youth offenders from the roof of youth justice facilities, over two events only weeks apart there were spends of $846 and $268.50 on KFC and McDonalds.
“These offenders have been rewarded for their bad behaviour when they should see consequences. It is because of this culture staff assaults in youth justice facilities increased from 61 in 2021 to 133 in 2022.
“This speaks to a wider problem at the moment. People in New Zealand are terrorized by criminals in their workplaces, their cars are broken into on the streets, they feel unsafe out walking, they pay their taxes and follow the rules. But their money is used to reward people who don’t follow the rules. At the heart of New Zealand’s crime problem is that failure of values.
“Oranga Tamariki is there to care for the vulnerable. Corrections is there to correct and rehabilitate. They are different jobs and Oranga Tamariki just isn’t up to the job of running these facilities.
“ACT’s alternative budget transfers responsibility to Corrections and funds the construction of 200 new youth justice beds. There needs to be facilities run by Corrections available to hold offenders accountable.
“As well as keeping offenders safely away from the public, Corrections is there to rehabilitate. We expect these facilities would be the first time these offenders have had access to mental health support and rehabilitation within a stable environment in their lives.
“Labour’s priorities are reducing the prison population, removing three strikes, funding cultural reports for convicted crims pre-sentencing, and giving KFC to escapees. Everything but the rights of law-abiding New Zealanders.
“ACT has laid out a different vision based on better values. ACT believes in cause and effect thinking. We believe people who follow the law and do the right thing have rights, those who do not will face consequences. If you share these values, Party Vote ACT.”