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Labour play 'politricks' with Clean Slate Bill

21 November 2001

Labour play 'politricks' with Clean Slate Bill

Green MP Nandor Tanczos today called for the public to bombard the Justice and Electoral Select Committee with submissions on his Clean Slate bill as the Government continues to deliberately stall the submission process.

"This is just politricks," said Nandor. "My Clean Slate Bill has had massive support from the public and majority support in Parliament. After doing nothing, Labour now wants to claim the credit."

Nandor's Clean Slate Bill effectively allows minor convictions - those which received a sentence of six months or less in prison or a fine of $2000 or less - to be wiped after seven years without reoffending.

Nandor's bill was drawn from the private members ballot in February and passed its first reading in March. Despite supporting the bill to select committee the Government has since delayed the committee calling for submissions on the bill.

Justice Minister Phil Goff has said that he intends to introduce his own version of the bill, and that submissions should be heard on the two bills together.

"The Government has said that they are introducing a new bill because mine needs significant amendment. Well I've never objected to changes - that is what select committees are for. The Justice and Electoral committee just about rewrote the Government's Legal Services Bill and my Clean Slate Bill is much less complicated than that," said Nandor.

"Other than politricks, there is no good reason why normal select committee processes could not have been followed. Instead of delaying the bill and drafting their own version, the Government should have just sought to amend mine in select committee.

"The frustrating thing is that we could have been done by now. Instead, because the Government wants their name on it, we haven't even begun."

Nandor said that the Government's version of the bill would inevitably be weaker than his own. He urged people to start making submissions in support of his original bill.

The bill can be viewed at
http://www.greens.org.nz/docs/bills/cleanslate_bill.htm/

ENDS

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