12 Jul 2013

New Caledonia takes youth crime prevention lessons from NZ

4:30 am on 12 July 2013

A visit to New Zealand by a group from New Caledonia wishing to learn about youth crime prevention has found that developing strategies to engage with different cultures is an effective tool.

Jean-Yves Lemenant, one of four delegates from the Southern Province, works as a youth advisor and says youth offending is on the rise.

Mr Lemenant says the idea of community in New Caledonia doesn't exist as a political programme so they don't have policies to cater to the native or Polynesian populations.

The delegation were welcomed by a haka on their visit to a youth justice residence this week and Mr Lemenant says New Zealand police do a good job of engaging with the community and working with different cultures.

"We saw that there was sort of a unique view from the kids we saw there, to the educators, to the director. There is a unity of view and a very deep respect of the local culture and that's what seems very important for us."

The youth advisor for the Southern Province Jean-Yves Lemenant.