BIG NEWS

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Government opposes Children's Commissioner's stance on tagging


The Minister for Social Development has distanced the government from statements made by the Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro in support of the rights of children and tagging. It's good to see that unlike young bloggers from The Standard, the Government understands the distinction between tagging and graffiti art.
Judith Collins: Does the Minister think the Children’s Commissioner was being responsible and sensible when she said that graffiti and tagging provided “a sense of fellowship” and was an “expression-based culture”; if so, why is it not OK in this case?

Hon DARREN HUGHES: Obviously, the commissioner is entitled to put whatever her view is in her independent submissions to the select committee. That is not the Government’s view; we are listening to what the community is saying when they want a tough line on tagging, and that is why the Government has a bill before the select committee, which the commissioner, in this instance, happens to oppose.

The Children's Commissioner supports the rights of young people even if it conflicts with the law. Young people do not have the right to break the law. If they break the law then they should be punished. Dr. Kiro does not want people to be punished for tagging, because, as she told the select committee, bills that punish children "adversly affect children and young people under 18 years".

In other words, Kiro believes children should not be punished for certain types of lawbreaking. It's as simple as that.

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