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ACT Welcomes Parole Lawsuit

ACT Welcomes Parole Lawsuit

Saturday 24 Jan 2004 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Crime & Justice -- Zero Tolerance for Crime

"I usually deplore inventive new lawsuits, but this one is good news," was ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks' welcome to reports that Tai Hobson is seeking $5 million damages for government negligence in letting parolee William Bell murder Tai's wife Mary.

"I hate seeing politicians, judges and lawyers create new ways to shift losses from life's risks, creating a culture that searches for someone else to blame for every mishap. But this case seeks a very old form of accountability - it just tries to hold the justice establishment to the same standards they impose on everyone else," Mr Franks said.

"This is a government that prosecutes community volunteers where they've had absolutely no reason to think any sad outcome is likely, let alone a certainty of injury from what they're doing. Without any intention to hurt, race organisers are made into criminals. Yet the same government won't front up when it coolly condemns hundreds of innocent New Zealanders every year to all the hurt of predictable violence from criminals paroled without finishing their court ordered sentences.

"This Labour Government hounds business people to bankruptcy with OSH prosecutions. They impose liability even for employees' own folly in not using safety gear provided, especially where earlier incidents show they should have known the rules were not being followed. Yet this Government let things get worse after an official report showed that parole failure left Taffy Hotene free to murder Kylie Jones.

"I've seen the official report on the handling of Bell. He wasn't a risk, he was an inevitability. Yet Attorney General Margaret Wilson told the victim's relatives that nothing that should have been done would have altered the outcome. That was nonsense. He shouldn't have been out at all. He showed no remorse, nor did he cooperate. Parole served no purpose - there is no evidence parole works to rehabilitate.

"This law suit is also on behalf of every New Zealander who wants to force Justice Minister Phil Goff to accept the 92 percent referendum, and get tough on crime. I commend the Sensible Sentencing Trust for their support of Tai Hobson. People can give practical help with a donation to the trust at PO Box 701, Napier. I've sent my encouragement.

"In the longer term this kind of law suit won't be needed with ACT's policy to end parole, and restore Truth in Sentencing," Mr Franks said.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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