Stop the Ram Raid Bill: petition handover

A group of people stand outside the NZ Parliament


Monday 24 June 2024

Stop the Ram Raid Bill: petition handover

Community organisations across the motu are concerned about the harm that the Ram Raid Bill will have on our children and our communities and are calling for the Bill to be scrapped.

A group of over 30 organisations is preparing to deliver a petition to political leaders on Wednesday 26 June, at 12pm at the steps of parliament.

This collective of organisations, community leaders, scholars and health practitioners is calling on all political parties to scrap the Ram Raid Bill. Instead, the Government must work together to develop a unified response to address community concerns about children in conflict with the law.

The Ram Raid Bill was previously introduced by the last Labour Government and would allow the courts to further criminalize children as young as 12.

“We are concerned that this will result in further harm to children and will funnel some of our most significantly harmed and structurally disadvantaged kids into the justice system,” says Aaron Hendry, founder and director of Kick Back.

“The Government should be well aware by now that children who come into conflict with the law often come from backgrounds of trauma and disadvantage. By channelling these tamariki into the criminal justice system, this Bill will only serve to continue a vicious cycle of intergenerational harm,” says Hendry.

The group is particularly concerned that the Bill is ignoring evidence-based solutions for the sake of political expediency.

Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand’s Campaign Director, Lisa Woods, says, “Forcing children through criminal proceedings at such a formative age can cause lasting harm to their health, wellbeing, and future. That’s why international human rights experts are calling on our government to raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14. This is a recommendation based on extensive evidence that children need to be treated as children, with consideration for their ongoing brain development.”

Signatories to the petition are calling on political leaders to work across political differences and commit to the development of a cross-party accord on youth justice, one grounded in evidence and informed by the lived experience of tamariki, whānau and affected communities.

The member organisations have invited each political leader to meet them at 12pm on Wednesday 26 June on the steps of parliament to receive an open letter and petition.

Petition signatories

Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand

Ara Taiohi, peak body for youth development in Aotearoa

Auckland Action Against Poverty Aotearoa New Zealand

Association of Social Workers (ANZASW)

Barnardos Aotearoa

Canterbury Howard League for Penal Reform

Community Law Centres of Aotearoa

Celia Lashlie Trust

Dr. Enys Delmage, Consultant in Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry

Dr. Luke Fitzmaurice-Brown

Dr. Sue Bagshaw

Disabled Persons Assembly NZ


Family for Every Child


Korowai Tupu, professional association for Youth Work in Aotearoa

Kick Back

Key Assets New Zealand

Mana 2022 Inc.


Pillars Ka Pou Whakahou

People Against Prisons Aotearoa


Save the Children

Talitonu Te Kaha

Te Tahi Youth

Trauma-informed Educators NZ

The Collaborative Trust

Youth Hub Christchurch

VOYCE - Whakarongo-Mai

Wellington Howard League

YouthLaw Aotearoa

Youth Arts New Zealand


If you’d like to add your signature to the petition, you can find it here.