New Zealand Police v FZ [2019] NZYC 584

Published 05 March 2020

Youth Court jurisdiction — law change — retention of 17-year-olds — transfer to District Court — burglary — intentional damage — unlawfully taking a motor vehicle — theft — wilful trespass — dangerous driving — failing to stop — unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle — Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, ss 238(1)(d), 296 & 311 — Sentencing Act 2002, ss 15B & 18. The young person appeared in the Youth Court for disposition of charges laid in both the Youth Court and the District Court. Due to the amendments to the Oranga Tamariki Act (the Act) that came into force on 1 July 2019, offences he had committed before that date were progressing through the District Court while offending after that date fell under Youth Court jurisdiction. The Judge had to determine whether to transfer the young person to the District Court for sentencing or whether he could more appropriately be dealt with in the Youth Court. Because of the young person's age at the time of offending he would not eligible for a custodial or home detention sentence in the District Court yet if he remained in the Youth Court a residential sentence could be imposed. Counsel for the young person drew the Judge's attention to a pilot programme available at a youth justice residence designed to help young people with vulnerable, high and complex needs. The programme was designed to be therapeutic and assist in developing skills. The Judge thought that a six month supervision with residence order may be the most appropriate in these circumstances. A family group conference was to be held in order to confirm that this outcome would work best for the young person, and the Judge would confirm the order following the formation of a plan. The charges in the District Court would also be dismissed for want of jurisdiction. Judgment Date: 15 October 2019. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *