Wide support for new Children’s Commissioner

Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft has been appointed as the new Children’s Commissioner.

NZ Herald: Outspoken child advocate overcame doubters

Mr Becroft, now 58, has been Principal Youth Court Judge for 15 years. He is an active member of the Karori Baptist Church and chairs the Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship.

“Most of the serious young offenders are really struggling with neurodisability disorders including fetal alcohol syndrome, traumatic brain injury, autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia and communication disorders,” he said.

This appointment has support across the political spectrum.

His appointment as Children’s Commissioner was welcomed yesterday across the political spectrum. Labour MP Jacinda Ardern, who was consulted on potential candidates, said Mr Becroft would be “fantastic”.

Green co-leader Metiria Turei said the decision was “exciting”.

Good to see that Ardern was consulted and that she and Turei strongly support Becroft.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said Judge Becroft would be seconded to the role for two years in what Ms Ardern described as a “change-manager” role to monitor CYF’s transformation into a new agency with a huge $1.3 billion annual budget to buy extra education, health, employment and social services for the families of about one in every five New Zealand children.

Judge Becroft said the proposed changes were a “visionary” approach to tackle the nation’s “utterly unacceptable child abuse and neglect record”.

“I hope there is an opportunity for even more of that vigorous debate to say this cannot continue and how is it that it is happening,” he said.

The CYF transformation and Becroft’s appointment will hopefully ensure ensure big steps forward in the State care of children.

Leave a comment


  1. Gezza

     /  4th May 2016

    An excellent appointment. Good to see cross-party cooperation in action on such an important role.

  2. Brown

     /  4th May 2016

    I tend to agree he is a good choice – he has a heart for the job although I would have thought him being Christian would have made him a difficult prospect.

    • Gezza

       /  4th May 2016

      No, that plus his legal training & previous experience, make him makes him an ideal appointee for the job Brownie. Practical Christians are a godsend.

  3. Corky

     /  4th May 2016

    “The CYF transformation and Becroft’s appointment will hopefully ensure ensure big steps forward in the State care of children”

    I’m afraid its too late. Sure,some things may improve such as identifying at risk kids and improving the monitoring of foster care. But we have a whole generation of unfortunates producing more unfortunates. The time to act was in the 80s & 90s.

    What will happen is the improved state-care system will eventually be swamped again due to increasing numbers of kids needing help. The welfare budget is not a bottomless pit. Sooner or later funding cuts will be made. And so a new cycle of inadequate childcare will begin.

    The answers are quite simple, but extreme.

    1- Compulsory birth control for all women claiming a Solo Mothers Benefit.
    2- Compulsory sterilisation for all child abusers.
    3- Michael Laws voluntary sterilisation scheme. That allows people to choose sterilisation. In return they receiving $10 000. The beauty about this scheme is it mops up all people who are real deadbeats. Obviously someone who gives up parenthood for ten grand doesn’t have children to the forefront of their mind.

    You may like to mediate on the criminals. child abusers and general deadbeats who wouldn’t be with us today if such schemes had been implemented previously. Also spare a thought for all their victims and the billions society spends dealing with them.

    Take the two fuckers presently in court for slowly killing a child over one month. It takes a special mentality to be so callous. The women charged looked bemused as if to say” why am I here.” The man looked like a caged animal. Dog cunning, his instincts were already telling him if he mistakenly winds up in general population he is dead. Oh,they are charged with manslaughter- why not murder?

    Of course such measure will never be implemented. So we will limp to the next chid abuse case, and the next,,,,next…next. ( wring wrists)

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  4th May 2016

      Too stupid to be charged with murder?

      • Corky

         /  4th May 2016

        Never thought of that. They would probably say ” Bro, we called the ambulance after one month of abusing the kid. How can we be charged with this murder thingy yous guys are talking about “?

        • Pickled Possum

           /  4th May 2016

          So tell me please, education at home or at school turned these people into the monstars they always wanted to be. Can I have a link please?

          Also corky te Judge says “They have always caused serious victimisation, but they are themselves victims – 76 per cent have a history of some CYF [Child Youth and Family] involvement.”
          This guy gets my Big Up Vote; for knowing more than the last lot of CC’s
          He has true empathy. I have even heard he treats people equally,
          regardless of race 🙂

          Of course in someone else’s real world your korero has merit, but I am hopeful that the tamariki who wish, want to flourish, will learn and go on to have great jail free lives; will have the resource’s to do this. I have seen too many caste off’s, of the education system, home and society, to not want ‘it’ to Work.
          We say we have a problem and do nothing but just throw hurdle after hurdle
          in front of them. how can we expect them to understand, when they barely know how to write am essay on the French Revolution?
          to have failed with at least 10 years of public schooling.

          Then when ‘they’ predictably do the wrong thing … we just hand wring more and throw more hurdles.
          When it reaches the final destination, jail, death or zombie land, we hand wring even more and try to change a really broken system, again. using money from where? Jeez humans are so maddening sometimes like That fella that took an 11 day trek and turned into 40 years. Lost and just … not knowing.

          I do notice a lot more money going into the Drug Harm system
          $1. something billion A Year for NZ so maybe these children who are failing for drug reasons will get picked up there?
          Some one is making heaps of money somewhere why can it not be PUT into the
          Best Education System the World has ever Seen. The real fence at the top of the hill.

          • Corky

             /  4th May 2016

            Not one sentence of Maori. Another plastic tiki. You are part of the problem.

            • Pickled Possum

               /  4th May 2016

              Na kia whai i te tetahi ki te ngakau kino te mana, me te takaro i te Atua,
              ka mea e te ora e ka mate

              So the one with the negative heart should have the authority and play God and say which will live and which will die.
              Google it

    • Gezza

       /  4th May 2016

      The time to act was in the 80s & 90s.
      Some of that I can almost actually agree with if I look at it from a purely academic analytical-type perspective, but it is unlikely to happen Corky. Meantime, the time to not act is now.

      • Gezza

         /  4th May 2016

        Um…I’m not sure that the above is actually what I meant to say. We do need to act now, is what I meant, doing various things to solve these situations we all abhor, but which are not the radical measures you propose that are unlikely to be put in place.

    • I agree Gezza. Since the 80s and 90s have gone by, we do need to act now, in 2016, and as much as possible across the board. The plight of many children in NZ warrants a very wide-ranging response. For example, if it costs say $100,000 to prosecute a child abuse case, perhaps that money could be assigned in advance to forms of prevention, ‘per capita’ based on the previous year’s prosecutions? I don’t know … just thinking out loud …

      This probably does mean identifying at risk families? Perhaps Maori, Pasifika and other minority communities/NGOs can identify and care for their at risk families better than an essentially Pakeha system’s ‘profiling’? I gather there are moves afoot to facilitate this.

      Build fences, build fences, build fences … and hopefully deploy fewer ambulances.

      Anyhow, some fiendish sort of ‘corporatised eugenics’ amidst all our hard won neoliberal “freedom” is hardly the answer if we want our society to retain some semblance of decency.

  4. MaureenW

     /  4th May 2016

    Big ups for Andrew Becroft, I watched him present at the launch of YCAP in 2013, he was very good. Entertaining, funny and should a lot of compassion and understanding to the plight of troubled kids (or, kids that get into trouble – typically they’re one and the same).


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