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Nandor's Clean Slate Bill To Go Before Parliament

Green Party Justice Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos has had his bill, which would wipe minor convictions from people's criminal records if they have not reoffended for seven years, drawn from the members ballot.

Nandor's 'Clean Slate Bill' will now be debated in parliament in March and he expects his bill will attract wide-ranging cross party support.

"What this means is that people who may have made a mistake when they were young don't have to suffer for the rest of their lives. This bill will not apply to serious offences but only to offences where the sentence was less than six months in prison - such as for non-payment of fines, driving offences, possession of cannabis and shoplifting," he said.

Similar schemes already exist in Australia, Britain and other nations.

"This idea was first raised in New Zealand over 20 years ago. More recently Doug Graham also floated it. The Minister of Justice Phil Goff has said publicly that he supports the principle of this bill and I expect every party in this House will want to see it pass," said Mr Tanczos.

"There may be disagreement around some of the details, but I am confident that this can be worked out in Select Committee.

"It is high time that we caught up with the rest of the world on this. It is ridiculous that a centenarian can still carry the burden of a shoplifting conviction from their teens," he said.

"This is all about helping people who are truly rehabilitated to overcome their past and to provide incentives for not reoffending. Seven years is long enough to carry the criminal stigma for a minor offence."

Nandor Tanczos MP: 04 470 6716, 025 246 5235 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 440 090

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