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Hope That Sex Offenders Register Will Be Backdated

Hope That Sex Offenders Register Will Be Backdated

ACT New Zealand MP Deborah Coddington said today that Justice Minister Phil Goff's plans to monitor sex offenders have provided her with hope that her Sex Offenders Register Bill will be strengthened in Select Committee.

"I particularly welcome Mr Goff's plans to backdate legislation regarding sex offenders, in spite of the Bill of Rights Act," Ms Coddington said.

"When I drafted my Sex Offenders Register Bill, discussions with the Bills Office persuaded me not to have the register retrospectively listing convicted sex offenders.

"I was extremely disappointed that - due to the Bill of Rights - I would only be able to have included on the national register those offenders who were still serving sentences, or on parole.

"However, this paves the way for many more sex offenders to be included on the database, not just those who have not served or spent their sentences, but offenders like Peter Liddell - the former teacher and counsellor whose supervision ended in 2002, and who has prompted complaints to police as recently as March of this year.

"Not all sex offenders hit the headlines. Arguably, those who quietly slip into communities pose more of a threat to young children. I would very much like these offenders to be included on a national database, even if their parole finished several years ago.

"If my legislation goes ahead as hoped, there will be scope for these adjustments to be made in Select Committee," Ms Coddington said.

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