Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Community work - more than half fail to show

Community work - more than half fail to show

More than half of offenders ordered by courts to perform community work do not bother turning up, says Tony Ryall, National's Law and Order Spokesman

In many parts of the country - such as Otara, Mangere, Porirua and Christchurch - it is even worse with two out of three failing to report.

"Community work has become a Clayton's sentence. Here are burglars, wife-beaters and shoplifters, sentenced to community work as punishment, all thumbing their noses at the justice system and their victims. It's disgusting," says Mr Ryall

"Why would anyone take this sentence seriously when so few people actually turn up and do their time? It's an easy option and the Government is making it even easier" said Mr Ryall.

"We first suggested ideas to fix this last year and it's time the government took action on them".

On average only 47% of those expected to turn up for community work actually do.

"This is a far cry from the 85% compliance rate that the Government crows about" said Mr Ryall.

The figures are revealed in internal Corrections Department compliance reports released to the National Party under the Official Information Act.

"The staff who supervise the scheme tell me that offenders' excuses would make your hair curl: from 'no transport', to 'it's raining' or 'can't be there I'm drunk'!"

"What makes this worse is that when these offenders are taken to court for breaching their community work sentence, half of them get more community work! They don't show up now so what's the point?

"And a quarter of all offenders who do not turn up for community work get convicted and discharged with no additional penalty. In fact, many get their sentences wiped altogether.

"Last year a 26 year old beneficiary charged with assault, multiple thefts and breach of community work was ordered to pay $57 reparation, $100 costs and as a bonus got her community work wiped!

"The problem is offenders have one or two years to do their community work sentence, but no weekly minimum. This means they keep ignoring their sentence until it's too late.

"Urgent changes are needed to give Corrections staff the power to require a minimum number of community work hours per week be done, and to impose immediate penalties as most community work breaches take months to get to court. We first called for this change late last year and it's time the Government woke up" said Mr Ryall.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election