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


Teenage Arson Could be Cheaper in the Future

Teenage Arson Could be Cheaper in the Future

Thursday 29 Nov 2001 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Justice, Law & Order

There is no reason for the Judge to apologise for jailing the Hamilton teenagers who burnt down their school gymnasium, says ACT's Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks.

"These teenagers should be glad they live under our gormless Government.

"Historically, arson was ranked with rape and murder in punishment terms, because communities are so helpless against it.

"But their actual time in prison will be `short and sweet' when home detention is likely. It will not deter any attention-seeking copycat kid.

"In worrying that prisons don't `help young people' the Judge is just reflecting the goofy theories that have soaked through every level of our criminal justice system.

"Mr Goff and Mr Robson tell us that sentences must serve the `criminogenic needs' of the offenders. But sentencing is not `for' the offenders. It is for the rest of us. It is to tell people who might be thinking about a criminal act - `don't; it won't be worth it'.

"The Government's Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill is going to make it even harder for Judges. Instead of allowing them to respond with the common sense of the ordinary New Zealander, here is what the so-called reforms will tell the Judges to do:

* Among nine permitted purposes of sentencing - punishment is not even included. Too primitive the Government seems to think.

* Further the Judge must "sentence the offender to the least restrictive penalty that is appropriate in the circumstances".

* Fines must be used instead of imprisonment unless the sentencing principles "make a fine inappropriate", or a fine plus reparation "would otherwise be clearly inadequate in the circumstances".

* The Judge "must not impose a sentence of imprisonment unless ... satisfied that [specified purposes] cannot be achieved by a non-custodial sentence; and no other sentence would be consistent with the application of the sentencing principles".

* The judge must also have regard to "the desirability of keeping offenders in the community as far as that is practicable and consonant with the safety of the community".

* And for reasons that completely escape me, Mr Goff's Bill says, without any explanation, rhyme or reason "The court must not impose as part of a sentence of reparation an obligation on the offender to perform any form of work or service for the victim." Is this because it might hurt their self esteem?

"Is this really what 92% of New Zealanders voted for?" Stephen Franks said.

For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Crowdsale And Crowdfunding Campaign: Help Create The Future Of Independent News

Two weeks to go! The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. We believe this ScoopPro media monetisation approach can be scaled and spread globally to support local and independent news efforts in regional New Zealand and around the world.

Scoop is an ecosystem, it would not exist without those who contribute to it, read it and rely on it for professional media purposes. Generous past support from this ecosystem has enabled us to come this far in developing our business model. Support our PledgeMe Campaign>>


14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>


Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>


Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>


Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>


Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>


Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>


"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>





InfoPages News Channels