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Will The Alliance Let Hawkins’ DNA Plan Succeed?

10 February 2000


Police Minister George Hawkins’ plans for wider use of DNA testing places the spotlight on his Alliance coalition partners’ soft-on-crime stance, according to United New Zealand Party leader, Hon Peter Dunne.

“The Alliance are soft on crime, preferring to blame society’s ills for criminal behaviour, rather than the criminals themselves, and I cannot therefore see them wanting to support any moves to toughen up on the detection of crime.”

“After all, Corrections Minister Matt Robson has already made it clear he intends to ignore the 92% popular vote last year for tougher sentences for violent crime, so it is hardly likely the Alliance would support wider use of DNA testing.”

“Mr Hawkins’ plan may well founder on Alliance handwringing,” Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne welcomes Mr Hawkins’ call for a widespread public debate on the use of DNA testing, before any decisions are made.

“DNA testing is the way of the future, but there are many important procedural and ethical issues to resolve before it is adopted completely, and the Minister is wise to call for a full public debate at this stage,” he says.

Mr Dunne says he is also pleased to see the Government intends following the policy of the previous Government in picking up United policy ideas.

“I first called for a full public debate on the wider use of DNA testing in 1997, and again in 1999, so I am pleased that Mr Hawkins has now heeded those calls,” he says.


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