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Top youth court judge for children's role

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/05/2016

Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft has been appointed new Children's Commissioner.

Judge Becroft, who is also a District Court judge, will step away from his judicial roles to take up the position in July, Social Development Minister Anne Tolley announced on Tuesday.

He replaces the outgoing Russell Wills and comes into the role at a time of major change, Ms Tolley says.

"I have no doubt he is the right person at the right time, and that he will do a fantastic job.

"Judge Becroft's experience of dealing with troubled and at-risk young people will be vital in the development of a youth justice service aimed at preventing offending and reoffending as part of the major overhaul," Mrs Tolley said.

"His opinions will also be important as we investigate raising the youth justice age to include 17 year olds."

Ms Tolley thanked Dr Wills for his work.

"He has never shied away from voicing strong opinions, always with the best interests of children in mind, which is crucial to the job of commissioner."

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