Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Tanczos agrees with Harré instant fines no answer

24 January 2000

Tanczos agrees with Harré - instant cannabis fines not the answer

Green MP Nandor Tanczos today said he was delighted to hear the Minister of Youth Affairs saying that replacing current cannabis laws with instant spot fines was not the answer.

"As the momentum builds towards cannabis law reform in New Zealand it is important that we examine each of the policy options on their merits instead of what seems the most politically expedient," said Mr Tanczos.

"I am really pleased that the Minister has voiced her concern over the instant fines system because, while it might sound good in theory, in practice this system has been a dismal failure."

South Australia introduced a system of spot fines for minor cannabis offences in 1987. However under this scheme the rates of cannabis use increased and the number of reported cannabis offences doubled. Only around half of all those people issued with spot fines actually paid the fine, mainly because the fined person could not afford to pay.

The end result of this system has been a 90 per cent success rate for prosecutions for non payment of fines, or 37,500 otherwise avoidable convictions for non payment of fines between 1992 - 1996.

"Under the instant fines system young, poor people are still negatively effected by the law and the law is still doing far more damage to otherwise ordinary people than their use of cannabis ever would," said Mr Tanczos.

"I am particularly concerned about the instant fines option because the evidence is that the same people continue to get busted for what simply should not be a crime. The issue must be what system will actually achieve our goals rather than what is the most politically expedient," he said.

"Again I am grateful to the Minister of Youth Affairs for advancing the debate on the facts."

Nandor Tanczos is currently in South Africa. He can be contacted on 0027 82 258 6926 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 440 090

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news