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


Lies, Damned Lies And Mr Prebble’s Statistics

ACT Leader, Richard Prebble’s blatantly inaccurate use of statistics and misstatements of fact undermine his party’s credibility, Justice Minister Phil Goff said today.

“Last week, ACT Leader, Richard Prebble, claimed that at 1021 per 100,000 people Hamilton had a higher rate of violent crime than New York.

“Waikato residents who challenged that statement and the impression that they were living in the crime centre of the world were right to be sceptical.

“The NZ Police ‘Violent Offences’ category Mr Prebble used for the Waikato includes a wide range of serious and lesser violent offences and does not include rape. The FBI ‘Violent Crime’ category he used for New York includes only 4 categories of the most serious offences including rape.

“When the more minor crimes are subtracted from the New Zealand statistics and rape is added, a more realistic comparison between Waikato violent crime and New York City violent crime can be made.

“Not surprisingly, New York City’s 872 per 100,000 population rate of violent crime in 2000 is 5 times higher than the more comparable rate of 162 violent offences per 100,000 population in the Waikato.

“Indeed, 249 (93 %) of the United States regions listed in the FBI report had a higher violence rate per capita than the Waikato Police district when similar definitions of violent crime are used.

“It must be noted that the difference in time period and differences in definitions and reporting procedures between jurisdictions mean that these figures are not completely comparable either. However, they are much more comparable than Mr Prebble’s statistics.

“In his speech in Hamilton, Mr Prebble also made statements, which he knows to be absolutely wrong.

“Take, for example, his statement that ‘a violent sexual offender must under Phil Goff’s Bill, be released after serving just a third of the sentence’.

“Firstly, the new legislation sets out a statutory instruction to judges that the worst offences should receive the maximum sentence under the law. This is much tougher than the existing law.

“Secondly, the automatic release of violent offenders at two-thirds of their sentence under the old law is abolished. Such offenders can be required to serve the very last day of their sentence.

“Thirdly, the Parole Board has as a statutory instruction that in considering parole, safety of the community must be the paramount consideration. Those at risk of reoffending must be kept in prison.

“Fourthly, judges can require that such inmates serve up to two thirds of their sentence before even being considered for parole.

“Mr Prebble damages the credibility of himself and his party in making wildly inaccurate statements in an apparently desperate bid to use fear to try to improve his flagging ratings in the polls,” Mr Goff said.

Categories of Violent Crime Used by ACT

NZ violent offences - FBI violent crime

homicide - murder
kidnapping & abduction - forcible rape
robbery - robbery
grievous assaults - aggravated assault
serious assaults
minor assaults
group assemblies
other violence


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news