Parliament

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

 

Government toughens law while Nats play politics


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Justice
Media Statement

12 December 2001

Government toughens law while Nats play politics

Justice Minister Phil Goff says National leader Bill English’s vague promise of tougher sentencing laws for murder are a cynical effort to exploit the distress the whole country is feeling about the appalling run of murders over the past 8 days.

“Mr English is indulging in sheer politicking. The best he can do is to say National will ‘consider’ a tougher sentence for murder.

“The Sentencing and Parole Bill currently before Parliament and due to be passed next March is tougher than anything the National Party did in 9 years of government.

“The new legislation will provide for a minimum non-parole period of 17 years, up from 10, for the worst types of murders. Seventeen years will only be a starting point for judges, who can impose a much longer non-parole period.

“The Parole Board will have for the first time, the risk to the community as its paramount consideration.

“The focus for any murder sentencing legislation should be based on the risk to society, and not having geriatrics in wheelchairs still in prison costing the taxpayers money long after they cease to constitute a risk to anyone.

“This approach is having negative consequences in places such as the United States. There the fastest-growing segment of the prison population is prisoners aged 55 and over.

“States are finding it harder to find cells for the younger, and typically more violent offenders. US figures show the average yearly cost of incarceration of NZ$51,000 a year. An elderly inmate costs taxpayers $164,000 per annum.

“The extreme hard-line approach in the United States has been shown not to work with the US homicide rate three times that of New Zealand’s per capita.

“Mr English can make his vague promises but has no policy to back these up. The facts are that this government has toughened up on bail, has law about to be passed for tougher parole and sentencing and has a bill before Parliament that strengthens victims rights.

“The Government has listened to the 92 percent of New Zealanders who wanted a stronger sentencing regime and is acting after nine years of inaction by the previous National-led administration,” Mr Goff said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Bridges’ ‘Meth Crooks’ Leadership Failure

Back in June, Bridges publicly accepted that Housing NZ had got it wrong, and that the National government had acted upon bad advice.

Now, you’d think this admission would create a broad bi-partisan basis for compensation to those families who had been unfairly evicted, at considerable cost and emotional distress. Some people had lost their possessions in trying to meet the expense of the upheaval.

Not everyone felt so compassionate. More>>

 

Multimedia & Transcript: Acting PM's Press Conference

Winston Peters, Acting Prime Minister while Jacinda Ardern is in New York for the UN Leaders' Week, held a short press conference Monday after chairing this week's cabinet meeting. More>>

General Assembly: Ardern Rejects Trump Call For War On Drugs

New Zealand will not be signing the United States' document calling for global action on the war on drugs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Ms Ardern is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Cabinet Funds Deal For Oranga Tamariki Social Workers

The Minister said that an agreement in principle has been reached between Oranga Tamariki and the PSA on a settlement worth $114.6m over five years. More>>

ALSO:

Hunting v Pest Control: Tahr Control Needed To Protect Alpine Habitats

A cull of introduced Himalayan tahr browsing conservation land in Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana/ the Southern Alps is needed to protect special alpine plants and their habitats, Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage said. More>>

ALSO:

Protest At Sea: Judge Discharges Greenpeace Activists

The judge today discharged Norman and Howell without conviction, saying the cumulative consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to what was “low level” offending off the Wairarapa coast in April 2017. More>>

ALSO:

No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels