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Coddington to Name Sex Offender in House

Coddington to Name Sex Offender in House

The Department of Child, Youth and Family wants to award custody of a ten-year-old and a six-year-old to a convicted sex offender, ACT MP Deborah Coddington said today.

"This afternoon in Parliament I will reveal details of a case where CYF is fighting to award custody of two young children to a convicted sex offender listed in my 1996 Paedophile and Sex Offender Index. I have agreed to do so in a last-ditch effort to help these children avoid abuse. I take the privilege afforded politicians very seriously, and I can think of no better use for it than to bring to public attention a Government department putting children in danger. I will not name the two children involved, but I will name the convicted sex offender.

"This case strengthens the need for a paedophile and sex offender register. Since coming to parliament I have drafted a bill that takes the best from similar legislation in Canada and the UK. My Sex Offenders Bill will require convicted sex offenders to report to a police station if they change address or name.

"I believe critics of this legislation do not understand it. They mistakenly suppose this register will be available to the public. In fact, my draft legislation restricts access to the registry to the police, and people authorised by the Ministers of Police and Justice, as well as convicted offenders if they believe information about themselves may be incorrect. My legislation has stiff penalties for unlawful dissemination of an offender's details.

"This bill will save children from abuse. Police will know if a paedophile moves into an area near their local school, and be able to publicly use that information. Government departments will not be excused for giving predators access to children.

"Politicians cannot continue to patronise sexual abuse victims by making sympathetic noises and doing nothing. I urge politicians from every party in parliament to support my bill, to provide some security and safety for New Zealand families," Miss Coddington said.

Deborah Coddington will speak in the General Debate this afternoon. She has the eleventh slot.

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