Oranga Tamariki spent over $1000 in a week on fast food to lure young offenders off roofs

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Oct 10, 2023 |

Revelations that Oranga Tamariki spent over a thousand dollars on KFC and McDonalds in a week to lure youths offenders off justice facilities roofs isn’t going down well with ACT.

Official information sent to the AM show found $846 was spent in July when a group of teenagers spent 24-hours on the roof at an Auckland facility.

The takeaways were also given to police and other emergency personnel involved in responding to the roof-top stand-off.

The AM show also reported that just one week earlier, the ministry spent $268.50 on KFC to lure five teenagers who escaped onto the roof At Te Puna Wai near Christchurch.

ACT’s Children spokesperson Karen Chhour said “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.

“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 terrorised 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.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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