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Victims Rights Bill Does Not Go Far Enough

Victims Rights Bill Does Not Go Far Enough

ACT New Zealand does not believe the Victims' Rights Bill being passed today goes far enough, ACT MP Deborah Coddington said today.

"ACT New Zealand is voting for this bill, because at least it does something for victims' rights. We support any intention to move our criminal justice system to one centred on the rights of victims instead of criminals.

"However, much of this bill is filled with platitudes and unenforceable principles - nice and touchy-feely, but meaning nothing.

"Labour has allowed this legislation to languish for an entire term since it was introduced in 1999. A lot of it is not victim-driven, it is offender-driven. Portions read like a meaningless brochure promoting the courts system.

"In my experience creating the Paedophile and Sex Offender Index, I received huge piles of mail from victims of sex crimes.

"These New Zealanders felt that even though they had been through the justice system, they had not received any true justice for themselves.

"Despite this huge feeling from New Zealanders that our justice system must pay more attention to the rights of victims, much of today's legislation is simply lip service and nothing more.

"Despite its obvious flaws, ACT New Zealand chooses to support this legislation because it does represent one very small step in terms of bringing justice back to victims," Miss Coddington said.

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