Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Government Must Rethink Boot Camp Charade

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern

The near unanimous opposition to the Government's boot camp charade expressed at a select committee today should force it to rethink this $35 million waste of taxpayers' money, says Labour's Youth Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.

"By far the majority of submitters appearing before the Social Services Select Committee today - including youth justice experts - were critical of the boot camps, noting that they have been tried before with little success.

"The Families Commission, UNICEF and Barnardo were among those voicing opposition," Jacinda Ardern said.

"Despite the consensus, the Social Development Minister has signalled the boot camps could be up and running later this year at a cost of $35 million and has lashed out at critics, accusing them of missing the point.

"This is rather rich. The reality is that it is Paula Bennett who has missed the point. The boot camps were never anything more than a political charade, designed to create an impression during the election campaign that National would be tough on crime," Jacinda Ardern said.

"Paula Bennett inherited the job, and is now struggling to cope with the criticism she's copping. Instead of attacking her critics, she should face the facts.

"Given today's and earlier criticism, it would be totally irresponsible of her to proceed with the boots camps, when there are plenty of successful early intervention programmes which we know actually work. We should be spending this significant amount of money on these.

"Whether the Minister has been able to find anyone prepared to deliver the programme remains, however, a moot point," Jacinda Ardern said.

"Submitters today were unaware of any providers having been approached to set up the camps, and it remains unclear whether the Army is willing to help.

"The Minister is proposing we spend up to $35 million on a programme in as little as 10 months time, with little support in the youth justice sector, no apparent volunteers to run the programme and widespread agreement that it won't work."

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.