6 Apr 2009

Sending troubled young people back to the islands not sanctioned by NZ government

10:47 am on 6 April 2009

The Chief Executive of New Zealand's Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs says sending troubled young people back to their island homes is not a solution to the rising crime rate.

Colin Tukuitonga was one of several Pacific representatives at a government forum to try and understand the underlying drivers of crime in New Zealand.

He says there are huge risks associated with sending young offenders to island communities which are not equipped to deal with them.

"I know that this was the practice in the past not sanctioned by government but I do know families still believe this is the solution to some of our troubled young people. Understandable but I think it has its own challenges, and it's certainly not something that we would support."

Dr Tukuitonga says a high proportion of offending by Pacific people involves serious violence and sexual violence.