Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


The House: Sanctuaries, Legislation And Crime

The powerful political rhetoric that crime issues brings forth from politicians was heard long and loud in the House this evening.

After an unusual procedural motion delayed the report back from select committee of the Crimes (Home Invasion) Amendment Bill, (See earlier story in the headlines wire.) MPs eventually got down to the business at hand.

Justice Minister, Tony Ryall, sought the title of protector of the public's home or sanctuary. He said the Justice system belonged to the people and not the "politically correct". The Minister said it was his job to reflect the public's concern at a numerically small number but violent home invasion cases.

Mr Ryall said that Labour were two faced on crime issues, where they talked about getting tough, but voted soft. He said Mr Goff said one thing about longer prison sentences, but had been overwhelmed by a liberal caucus.

Labour's Justice Spokesman, Phil Goff, said Mr Ryall was only telling half the story and that the "incompetent legislation" would not make any difference to a young girl who was raped by her father or someone who shot someone through the window. Mr Goff said Mr Ryall was designing policy for political purposes. Mr Goff and a number of other opposition MPs spoke at length about the arbitrary nature of the definitions of a home.

The former Justice Minister, Sir Douglas Graham, said there was a great deal of emotion in the debate, but law and order needed careful consideration. He said politicians had throughout history had whipped up a furore over law and order and many had been far better at it, than any debater heard of late.

Sir Douglas said the bill was justified in that when people intermingled with society they took a risk and there were even risks faced by people living in their own homes. However he said the risk posed by people entering homes unlawfully were not a risk that people should have to assume.

Sir Douglas' distaste for the political rhetoric came through clearly in his speech. He said the law was not only about deterrence and rehabilitation, it was also about punishment and society had the right to exact punishments for crime it abhorred.

Sir Douglas said he had thought long and hard about the Bill and decided on balance it was worthy and should proceed.

MPs from both sides of the House accused each other of political posturing numerous times and when the House came to the vote it was passed on to its committee stages by 62 to 58.

The rest of the evening session will be taken up with consideration of the select committee report on the Criminal Justice Amendment Bill (No. 6). The law change seeks to lower the threshold at which judges can hand down terms of non-parole to offenders, it has wider support amongst MPs.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news