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ACT Welcomes Schools' Paedophile Warning

ACT Welcomes Schools' Paedophile Warning

ACT New Zealand Associate Justice Spokesman Deborah Coddington today congratulated two Invercargill schools for notifying parents of a convicted paedophile moving into their neighbourhood.

"St Patrick's and Newfield primary schools wrote to parents on Friday warning that Mark Stenning, convicted 17 times for paedophile-related activities, has moved into the area," Miss Coddington said.

"Both schools have behaved responsibly by informing parents of Mr Stenning's presence. It is exactly how I envisage a Sex Offenders' Registry - as outlined in my Sex Offenders Registry Bill - would work.

"The schools' warnings justify my decision to publish the 2004 edition of the New Zealand Paedophile and Sex Offender Index. It is doubtful whether the public would even know of Mr Stenning's activities if it weren't for my book.

"I am the first to accept that my book is not the be-all and end-all in protecting communities from sexual predators. What New Zealand really needs is a comprehensive Sex Offenders' Register that will protect the innocent from the horrors of sexual abuse.

"The Government has indicated that it may kick my Bill into touch. This politically motivated decision would fly in the face of Justice Minister Phil Goff's protestations that Labour is getting tough on crime.

"ACT believes that Mr Stenning, and others like him, should not even be let out of jail. He is a menace to society, and a danger to children," Miss Coddington said.

* Miss Coddington's draft legislation is available on the ACT website at www.act.org.nz/sexoffender ( http://www.act.org.nz/sexoffender)

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