Plea For Tattoo (Parental Consent) Bill
"The Social Services select committee ignored the pleas of many parents when it recommended that my private members bill not proceed," says Eric Roy, National List MP for Southland.
"I am disappointed and astounded that the Government, who supported this Bill through its second reading, have suddenly withdrawn their support because a member of the Opposition might get credit for sensible legislation.
"I hope the members of the committee have a coherent explanation to give the distressed parents who first approached me, whose children had been tattooed when being prospected for criminal activity.
"There is no coherent reasoning within the report which rejects the Bill. Clearly the Government members must be under instruction to defeat a Bill which would give an Opposition member some credit.
"There are three main parts of the report which concern me: First, they say it is all too easy for children to fake letters of consent; does this mean all present laws with age limitation are about to be repealed as they are in the "too hard" basket?
"Secondly, the report states that it is assumed all tattoos are done at tattoo parlours; this is not mentioned at all in the Bill and, in fact, knowing that all tattoos aren't was the main thrust behind the Bill.
"Finally, the rights of 16 and 17 year olds. The committee has ignored the instructions I gave during the second reading and were obviously inattentive during my two appearances before the committee. I stated that I considered 18 an appropriate age, however, I would leave it up to the committee to make a final decision" explained Mr Roy.
During the report back to Parliament, Mr Roy offered to put an amendment changing the age limit to 16, if the Government voted for the Bill to continue. They did not take up this opportunity.