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Dail Jones Parliamentary Speech

Dail Jones Speech For Address In Reply Wednesday 12 February 2003 Parliament House

During The Course Of Her Speech The Prime Minister Stated That “Parliament Should Consider Whether It Is Practicable To Designate Dangerous .........................................Breeds And Their Cross-Breeds And Ensure They Are Leashed And Muzzled Whenever They Are Out Of Containment.

INCREASED PENALTIES FOR BREAKING THE LAW SHOULD BE CONSIDERED, AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAWS NEEDS TO BE STEPPED UP ACROSS THE COUNTRY.”

SHE IS QUOTED IN A STATEMENT IN THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD ON WEDNESDAY 5 AS SAYING:

“I PERSONALLY AM APPALLED AT THOSE DOGS BEING IN A POSITION TO RIP ADULTS AND CHILDREN APART.”

THE PRIME MINISTER, THEREFORE, HAS INDICATED THAT SHE SUPPORTS CONSIDERATION OF INCREASED PENALTIES, THE STEPPING UP OF THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHETHER IT IS PRACTICABLE TO DESIGNATE DANGEROUS BREEDS AND THEIR CROSS-BREEDS AND ENSURE THEY ARE LEASHED AND MUZZLED.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, CHRIS CARTER, SEEMS INCAPABLE OF UNDERSTANDING THE CLEAR MESSAGE WHICH IS GIVEN TO HIM BY HIS LEADER IN HER SPEECH. ALL HE WANTS TO DO IS TO REFER A BILL BACK TO A SELECT COMMITTEE WITH NO INDICATION TO THAT SELECT COMMITTEE OF THE MATTERS, WHICH SHOULD BE CONSIDERED.

THERE IS BEFORE PARLIAMENT A LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM BILL (NO.2) WHICH IS ESSENTIALLY AN AMENDMENT TO THE DOG CONTROL ACT 1996. AS THE DATE SUGGESTS, THE DOG CONTROL ACT WAS ONLY PASSED IN 1996 AND GENERALLY IS A VERY SOUND ACT.

THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM BILL (NO.2) WAS REFERRED BACK TO THIS HOUSE IN 1999 AND IT HAS STAYED ON THE ORDER PAPER SINCE THAT TIME. SUCCESSIVE MINISTERS OF THIS LABOUR PARTY’S GOVERNMENT HAVE OVER THE LAST 4 YEARS FAILED TO TAKE ANY ACTION WITH REGARD TO THIS LEGISLATION.

I AM SURE THAT ALL MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AND THERE MUST HAVE BEEN ABOUT 35 OR SO OF US WHO MET JOHN ANDERSON TODAY WERE GREATLY IMPRESSED BY THE POSITIVE MANNER IN WHICH HE IS TREATING THE VERY DISTRESSING SITUATION IN WHICH HIS FAMILY HAS FOUND ITSELF.

MR ANDERSON HAS SET OUT 5 POINTS IN A SUBMISSION AND I SUMMARISE THEM AS FOLLOWS:

DOG CONTROL OFFICERS - INCREASED POWERS ARE REQUIRED AND BETTER RESOURCING OF DOG CONTROL OFFICERS IS ALSO REQUIRED. ENHANCED DOG REGULATION. ENFORCE COMPULSORY REGISTRATION – USE OF LEASHES, COMPULSORY MUZZLES; FOR ALL DOGS OVER A CERTAIN HEIGHT (SAY 40CM) AND WEIGHT SAY 20KILOS WHEN OUT OF CONFINMENT, DOGS OFF LIMITS AT PLAYGROUNDS AND THE LIKE.

STIFFER SENTENCES FOR OWNERS BREAKING THE ACT. ASSAULT BY A DOG MUST BE CONSIDERED EQUIVALENT TO AN ASSAULT WITH A WEAPON. A SUGGESTION OF MINIMUM SENTENCES RATHER THAN MAXIMA ONLY.

BANNING OF CERTAIN BREEDS.

EDUCATION FOR ALL CONCERNED.

WORKING DOGS TO BE EXEMPTED.

IT SEEMS TO ME THAT AS A MEMBER OF NEW ZEALAND FIRST THAT THIS HOUSE SHOULD PREPARE A RESOLUTION DIRECTING IT TO A SELECT COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER THE SUBMISSION PREPARED BY JOHN ANDERSON AND REPORT BACK TO THE HOUSE.

IT IS POINTLESS MERELY SENDING THIS BILL BACK TO THE SELECT COMMITTEE IN THE HOPE THAT SOMETHING WILL BE ACHIEVED. SOME DIRECTION MUST BE GIVEN TO IT. THIS MINISTER HAS ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA OF THE STEPS WE SHOULD TAKE. HE IS NOW WRITING TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO GET IDEAS FROM THEM. HE HAS A VERY GOOD SHORT SHARP SUBMISSION FROM A PERSON WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER THAN ANY OF US THE STEPS, WHICH ARE REQUIRED TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM, WHICH FACES US.

THE QUESTION OF WORKING DOGS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED SEPARATELY. I NOTE THE PROVISION IN THE DOG CONTROL ACT FOR GUIDE DOGS, HEARING IMPAIRED DOGS, AND WORKING DOGS.

NEW ZEALAND FIRST WOULD BE ONLY TOO DELIGHTED TO SUPPORT AN ACROSS THE PARTY RESOLUTION OF THE HOUSE RECOMMENDING THAT A SELECT COMMITTEE CONSIDER THE ISSUES WHICH MR ANDERSON HAS RAISED AND TO REPORT BACK TO THIS HOUSE IN 3 MONTHS TIME WITH THE SECOND READING TO BE COMPLETED WITHIN ANOTHER 2 MONTHS TIME AND THE BILL FINALLY PASSED SAY BY THE END OF AUGUST.

THE BILL HAS CURRENTLY TAKEN MORE THAN 3 YEARS TO GET NOWHERE. SURELY WE CAN ALL GET TOGETHER ON THIS ISSUE NOW, TAKE JOHN ANDERSON’S VIEWS INTO ACCOUNT, PUT TOGETHER A RESOLUTION TO GO TO THE SELECT COMMITTEE AND EXPEDITE THIS MATTER PROPERLY.

IF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT SELECT COMMITTEE IS TOO BUSY THEN PERHAPS SOME OTHER COMMITTEE WITH A LITTLE MORE TIME SHOULD BE REQUESTED TO CONSIDER THE MATTER.

AS A LAWYER WHO HAS HAD SOME INVOLVEMENT IN DOG ISSUES I WOULD ONLY BE TOO PLEASED TO MAKE MYSELF AVAILABLE TO THAT SELECT COMMITTEE TO MAKE SURE THIS MATTER PROCEEDS PROMPTLY.

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