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New ideas in justice a refreshing change

13 April 2000

New ideas in justice a refreshing change

Green Party justice spokesperson Nandor Tanczos today said it was refreshing that after decades of old school justice policy some fresh and progressive new ideas were beginning to emerge.

Nandor Tanczos said he was particularly encouraged by a speech given by the Minister of Corrections Matt Robson at the Regional Heads of Prisons Meeting in the Hawkes Bay on Tuesday.

"I was pleased to hear the minister say he believes the solutions to Maori offending will come from Maori and the Green Party backs the minister's efforts to secure more funding for new Maori programmes in prison.

"As part of a more restorative justice programme - which aims to reduce crime instead of simply punish it - the Green Party would also like to see more funding going into out of prison schemes for Maori such as marae based justice," he said.

Mr Tanczos said the Green Party was pleased with Matt Robson's efforts to place victims at the centre of the justice system and to increase their rights in the courts.

"Restorative justice was a key election policy for the Greens and we are pleased our views are shared by the minister," he said. "It is a shame that under the current system a crime against a person is primarily seen as a crime against the Crown, with the victim relegated to the role of a witness.

"We welcome the new ideas which are being bought to this portfolio. They are long overdue if we are to reduce our high crime rate, reduce our prison population, rehabilitate criminals and give victims of crime the rights and respect they are entitled to," said Mr Tanczos.

"The old approach towards justice up until now has achieved none of these things. We fully support the minister's drive for more funding for new approaches and look forward to working with him on these projects."

Ends

Nandor Tanczos MP: 04 470 6712, 025 246 5235 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 110 1133


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