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


Government 'Clean Slate' Bill Will be Opposed

ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks says ACT will vigorously oppose Justice Minister Goff's Clean Slate Bill to wipe ten-year-old criminal convictions from people's records.

"Clean slate supporters mean well. They talk of `overcoming the past' and `forgetting the criminal stigma', but what it really means is suppression of the truth. It removes the right of everyone outside the justice establishment, to decide whether and when they should forgive and forget for past misdemeanours.

"The bill takes yet another freedom from ordinary people. The `authorities' have already shown that they cannot be trusted with power to suppress - see how they try to hide insane people and serious offenders among defenceless people in the community, without any warning.

"`Clean slate' is government ordered lying for the offender. The provision says the offender must lie, to achieve the objectives of the scheme.

"No wonder our young people are learning not to worry about bludging or ripping off their communities. In most civilised societies the concept of shame, or concern for reputation is one of the first lessons that good families teach.

"The Clean Slate Bill tells young people deciding between crime and respect for the law `don't worry about your reputation' we will doctor it for you'.

"ACT doesn't want people to carry a stigma forever. All of us will ignore an ancient conviction if the person has lived it down. That is our choice. But the bill will mean the past is secret. The state will deem the past lived down after 10 years - whatever the truth.

"When we suppress normal sanctions as a community - such as shame and a poor reputation - we are forced to rely on stronger formal institutional punishment. This bill underlines a cause of rocketing crime - the law doesn't mean what it says.

"We already pretend that youth crime doesn't happen, and hide young offenders in secret court sessions. Now the government wants to order the rest of us to pretend the past has not happened and tells the offender to lie.

"The right to forgive and forget is for individual New Zealanders not the state. ACT will vote for transparent justice, and against suppression of names after conviction whenever, and wherever they occur," Mr Franks said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election