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


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