You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

NZ First's 'military option' bill defeated

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/05/2017

A bid by NZ First to give school "drop-outs" the option of being trained and educated in the army has failed.

Darroch Ball's member's bill was defeated 75-45 on its first reading on Wednesday.

It proposed a partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and the Defence Force, setting up a pathway into paid work for 15 to 17-year-olds.

"It aims to help 90,000 school drop-outs who are languishing on the unemployment benefit," Mr Ball said.

"This is not another boot camp - they will be in the army to work, train, learn trade skills and respect so they are work ready by the time they turn 18."

Taking up the military option would be voluntary.

National MPs didn't think it would work.

Joanne Hayes doubted 15-year-olds would accept army discipline.

"They would tell the sergeant-major where to go."

Other government MPs said the idea was similar to previous programmes which had failed.

The Greens didn't like it either, and voted against it.

Labour supported it, saying it was a new idea that should be tested.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon