Parents whose children repeatedly wag school would be made to attend parenting classes and face increased fines under Act Party policy.

Act leader David Seymour released the hard-line policy today, saying on average each day 34,000 Kiwi children are absent from school without justification.

He said Act would require compulsory parenting classes for children who persistently missed school, and increase the fine for parents of truant children from $15 a day to $50 a day. The maximum fine would increase from $150 to $500.

"These fines will actually be enforced because they'll be collected by the IRD instead of the school," Seymour said.


If a truant child's parents are on benefits then Seymour said they would be put on "income management" by the Ministry of Social Development.

"In other words, that family's benefit payments will go directly from MSD toward essentials like bills and groceries before leftovers are paid to parents in cash."

Finally, Seymour said the same income management would be put on parents of children convicted of repeat offences. They would also be made to attend parenting courses.

"If they fail to teach kids right from wrong then the Government needs to step in to break the cycle of crime in our neighbourhoods. And that means consequences for the parents of these kids too."

Last month, National Party justice spokeswoman Amy Adams announced policy to let judges send serious youth offenders to boot camp at Waiouru for up to a year, and let police issue instant $200 fines to parents of children wandering the streets from midnight to 5am.

In response, Seymour attacked National as the "worst reoffenders in youth crime". He pointed out that the boot camp policy was previously announced by John Key - in 2008 when he was in Opposition - and said it had failed because National did not want to commit to addressing youth crime beyond slogans.

Act will release further youth justice policy tomorrow and on Thursday.