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Nats soft on crime

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, February 2nd, 2010 - 38 comments
Categories: class war, crime, phil goff, same old national - Tags:

Oh, sure, the Nats will lock a person up longer after they commit a crime, if they get caught. But what they won’t do is prevent them commiting the crime in the first place. National will spend a fortune on counter-productive vengence after you’ve become a victim of crime but not a fraction of that on saving the crime from happening in the first place.

Te Hurihanga was a pilot programme directed at young people who were slipping into crime that was set up by Phil Goff in the last Labour Government. It has been enmourously successful. The kids who went into it had typically commited 25-30 offences beforehand and none have reoffended afterward. In his agenda-setting speech last week, Goff spoke of the achievements of Te Hurihanga and asked the government to committ to continuing it.

Instead, the government has cancelled it. We know what the result will be. Kids who won’t get the opportunity to attend the course, who will continue slipping into a life of ever more serious crime.

Sure, the programme wasn’t cheap. Te Hurihanga cost $5 million for the 23 young people who took part. Pilots are never cheap and the cost would have come down had it been upscaled. 

But, damn it, Te Hurihanga worked. By cancelling it the Government is saving $200,000 per troubled youth today but will come to pay that over and over again in police, court, and jail costs – not to mention the cost of crime to society(estimated at $7000 per offence), and the loss of more young people who could have been productive members of their communities.

I suspect that, at the end of the day, the National Government simply doesn’t think these young people and their victims, most of whom are poor, are worth spending the money on. They would rather give tax cuts to their rich mates.

No wonder the crime rate is climbing under National. They’re doing nothing to prevent it. They won’t invest in jobs and they won’t invest in turning young people away from lives of crime. It’s so stupid, so pointless, so wasteful, so National.

38 comments on “Nats soft on crime ”

  1. Rob 1

    Geez and they got to this after only commiting 25 – 30 offences, maybe the plan is to start something a little earlier.

  2. The $5m cost was bogus mathematics from Power. It included construction costs which should have been applied over the life of the facility, typically 50 to 100 years. Set up costs should also be amortised.

    With that sort of analysis you would never ever build a hospital.

    This is another example (Cullen Super, ETS, Kiwisaver) of short term savings at the cost of long term benefits. Their only desire is obviously to get over the line at the next election.

    • fizzleplug 2.1

      Which is the only desire of every single politician. Sure, they might do something good in their term, but the end goal is always the same.

      • Richard 2.1.1

        As unbelievable as it sounds to you I’ll think you’ll find that some politicians might be in the game because they want to help people, or make NZ a better place. Even some of the Nact ones.

      • mickysavage 2.1.2

        What about Michael Cullen. He had the foresight to see that Super affordability would increasingly become a problem and had the guts to do something about it.

        • lprent

          You’d have to say that it wasn’t news. I knew that in 1975 and it has always factored into my voting.

          Michael Cullen was just the first politician who did something about it. Bill English joined the very long line of Finance Ministers who help make the super problem worse.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That wasn’t hard. Labour knew that in 1975 when it put in compulsory super savings which Muldoon promptly repealed in 1975. Unfortunately, they had that Rogernomics episode in the 1980s that they’re still getting over.

    • Emerson 2.2

      Surely the construction costs for a pilot program involving 23 young people over 3 years cant be substantial.

      • Pascal's bookie 2.2.1

        Building a secure residential unit?

        • snoozer

          nah, they’re cheap as chips. Emerson would knock one together for you over the weekend for $150.

          The facility doesn’t have a life of 3 years, Emerson. They’re going to continue using it too, for boot camps.

  3. Benjamin B. 3

    It’s not really about saving an imagined $5million I think.

    It’s about looking “tough on crime”. See car crushing and three strikes.

    It may me about filling the privately run prisons, giving money to those who run them.

  4. PT 4

    five mill for eight graduates (yes m, you know its only eight but you “forgot” to mention it) is a waste of money. its good the government is looking after taxpayer money instead of wasting it like labour, goff should resign for wasting so much money

    • snoozer 4.1

      Much of the $5 mil was for construction costs for buildings. Do you know about costing of capital? Clue: you don’t put it all on the first users.

      23 people took part. 8 have graduated, 10 more will, and the remaining 5 National will throw on the scrapheap.

      I’ll bet you that the costs of crime arising from not having put these people through that course would have exceeded $5 mil over their lives.

    • Clarke 4.2

      $5 million / 18 people = $278K/person
      $278K/person / $300 per day to keep them in prison = 926 days

      … so if these 18 people stay out of prison for a bit less than three years, then it is an excellent rate of return for the taxpayer.

      No wonder you righties are doing such a shit-house job of running the country – you lack basic numeracy skills.

  5. randal 5

    the nats love crime.
    its camouflage for their own activities. hahahahahaha.

  6. prism 6

    Just shows the right-wing lack of commitment to helping NZs by making resources available to those who haven’t already got all the chances. There is no commitment to improving conditions for and with them. So all we see are pilots or like this situation, the dropping of a useful and society-building program with measurable successful outcomes.

    And the costs are saved by measuring the real against the expected future expenditure from the failure of society to offer opportunity for a good, worthwhile life to these people.

    Stuff reports the sadness of the patrons and workers at the loss of this scheme –
    stuff item

    • prism 6.1

      My mistake. National radio at 9.05am gave the point of view of workers and patrons on the loss of the scheme with comments from Judge Carolyn Henwood, Former Youth Court Judge.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    I’d like to make this point to clear up the lies that National are spinning.

    The number you will hear the media mindlessly repeat is $630,000 per person. That number is $5 million divided by 8, the total number of people who had graduated “to date”.

    It does not account for the 10 people who are about to graduate, or the 5 that dropped out early from the course. Including those takes the numbers up to 23, to $217,000 each.

    I would agree that $630,000 does seem questionable as to whether it will be a true benefit, or whether cheaper programmes couldn’t also work as well, but $217,000 actually seems pretty good if you factor in future jail time and court expenses, let alone losses incurred by victims (both monetarily and psychologically).

    Finally, these $ figures include the initial start-up costs, which would be further defrayed over the lifetime of the operation, reducing the $ figure per head lower the longer the scheme ran.

    • NickS 7.1

      Heck, when factoring in the long-term costs even $630,000/person seems cost effective. It’s not cheap to keep someone in jail, on top of economic impacts of crime.

    • PT 7.2

      if you want spin look at lies from supporters who say 100 percent success when they don’t count the kids who dropped out, only count the ones who graduate. looks like not a bad scheme but it isn’t silver bullet and too expensive, better use of public money with other nat policies

      • wtl 7.2.1

        First you want to count the cost using only the ones who have completed the program to date and exclude the ones that dropped out. Then you want the success rate to include those who dropped out. Who is being dishonest here?

        • PT

          you cant do both wtl, i agree if you count cost for all kids doing it you can’t call it 100% success, power is right it has cost six hundred grand fo r each grad

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.2

        if you want spin look at lies

        No, if we want spin and lies we just have to read your comments and anything coming out of the present government.

    • prism 7.3

      Good point about spread of costs Lanthanide. An example of spoiling tactics from National who throw out programs and so waste all the money and time put into planning and guiding the program to its implementation.
      We saw Steven Joyce do this with roading plans in Auckland. It is a disgraceful waste of money by politicians and very inefficient.

      We can’t have new politicians favourite policy ideas replace on a whim systems already being utilised successfully.

  8. Bill 8

    Here we go again on the whole false dichotomy of a) lock em up and b) behavioural modification.

    Neither approach is a serious attempt to deal with crime.

    Both treat the person in isolation from environment and conveniently ignore root cause in favour of treating symptoms.

    Question is, how the fuck you ‘meant’ to behave when your environment is a piece of stressed out shit…when you are not living in a safe little ‘lets call the police and get them to sort it out’ neighbourhood…when ‘everything’ is ( from a middle class perspective) dysfunctional? Seriously!

    What the fuck do hand wringing liberals expect? That we all be ‘oh so civilised’ just like they are regardless of environment? Does the thought never occur that the so called dysfunction is a normal human reaction to the pressure cooked environment it takes place within; that the behaviours instilled through rehabilitation, education etc are in fact the dysfunctional behaviours when viewed from within the pertinent context rather than from the unrealistic ‘wouldn’t it be nice’ context of the middle class imagination?

  9. Bored 9

    I dont know, all you sad sack Lefties going on about how soft the Right has gone on crime….dont you know righties want people to emulate the superior types they have in spades….and if the emulators lack the skills for embezzlement, fraud, tax evasion etc etc, or plain good old excessive billing for services that you cant get elsewhere due to restrictive practices….well they will have to just resort to plain old fashioned numbskull robberies, or assault if they get frustrated….now thats enterprising.

  10. randal 10

    sadsack lefties pfffft.
    its the only creepy righties who amass fortunes so they can indulge in knky sex and other activites that only money can buy.

    • Bored 10.1

      I was going to mention that but for the sake of public decency (sort of a righty smokescreen for doing things behind closed doors…)

  11. tc 11

    A relentless focus on whatever PR opportunity presents itself to look tough …..watch out for JK/Collins/Bennett dressed as stormtroopers bashing the bene and locking up the crim and throwing away the key, smiling all the while.

  12. Evidence-Based Practice 12

    Red Alert mentions that a really good school based multi-systemic programme for younger children called Project: Diamond was also ended with the unnecessary closure of Aorangi School.

  13. How can you say a programme worked when only 23 people went through it?

    $5 million dollars for 23 kids. That is $217 thousand per kid!!!

    • felix 13.1

      Only if you don’t put any more kids through it. Let me demonstrate as simply as I can, just for you:

      Say you build a house. It costs you $300,000.

      You live there for a month. Your neighbour leans over the fence and says “You’re crazy! That house costs you $10,000 a day to live in!”

      What would you say to your neighbour?

      • fizzleplug 13.1.1

        “I’ll let you have it for a week for $35,000. Half price, just cause you are my neighbour”

    • Roger 13.2

      Most of the money was spent on construction, this is a sunk cost that should not have been considered in the analysis of cost per kid. You are right, you cannot say that a programme worked when only 23 people went through it so keep it open. The margin of error reduces and we can have get a serious picture of whether or not it is effective. The average cost of each graduate would have gone down it its lifetime as the fixed cost of construction becomes a lower proportion of the total cost giving a true cost of rehabilitation.

  14. randal 14

    if a rugby player gets $213,000 then he is a role model.
    these kids are role models too only not high profile media hogs.

  15. tc 15

    The thought process goes: IF labor initiative THEN revoke regardless of the value/output/suitability…….we are the born to rules so shutup or we’ll release your life to the media eh Paula.

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