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Labour betrays New Zealanders on crime

Wayne Mapp National Justice Spokesperson

30 June 2002

Labour betrays New Zealanders on crime

The new Sentencing and Parole Reform law, which comes into force tomorrow (July 1), is a betrayal of New Zealanders express wishes for tougher penalties for violent criminals, says National's Justice spokesman Wayne Mapp.

"The most emphatic message voters gave politicians at the last election was the massive mandate for tougher penalties for violent criminals. But Labour has refused to listen and ignored New Zealanders by softening the penalties for violent offenders with this new law.

"Under this regime a violent offender can be eligible for parole after serving just one-third of their sentence. This is a clear betrayal of the 92 per cent of New Zealanders who backed tougher sentences in the Withers referendum."

Dr Mapp says the new law also ignores victims, with no victim representatives on the Parole Board.

"National is serious about addressing crime and imposing tougher penalties. Our Law and Order policy includes: life means life for the worst offenders, a minimum of 15 years jail for all murderers, no automatic parole for violent offenders and no parole eligibility until offenders have served at least two-thirds of their sentences.

"New Zealanders gave politicians a clear message at the last election that violent offenders should be punished with tougher sentences. Unlike Labour, National has responded with policies that increase the penalties for violent criminals," Dr Mapp said.


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