Wednesday October 18, 2017   Last updated 22:27PM
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Time to use iwi child protection role
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The Children’s Commissioner says there is no legal obstacle to iwi taking custody of children from the courts, but the option has never been taken.

Judge Andrew Becroft has spoken out against an incident last week where a 13-year-old was held overnight in a police cell.

He says locking children and young people in cells can do psychological harm and should be avoided.

He wants to see more community-based homes and supervised bail hostels, or even giving custody to iwi social services, as the 1989 Children, Young Persons and their Families Act allows for.

"So there are significant opportunities now, always have been, but now with a resourced iwi base to be operating in this space, to say ‘we can look after some of these kids.’ Nothing would be better it seems to me. Nothing’s worse than institutionalisation in either a youth justice residence on remand or when they are full, in an adult police cell," Judge Becroft says.

ANDREW BECROFT INTERVIEW

 

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