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


Why Not Jail For Fines Contempt, Minister?

Why Not Jail For Fines Contempt, Minister?

By supporting the District Court's 90 percent discount on Nathan Bentley's $92,000 in fines, Courts Minister Rick Barker is effectively telling New Zealanders to treat the law as a joke, ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Mr Barker's fumbling excuses show exactly why unpaid fines and serious youth crime have ballooned under Labour," Mr Franks said.

"No amount of Barker bluster about delay, complexity, court discretions, difficulties getting information, lack of `support' for offenders, or the absence of `early intervention' will disguise the crystal clear message sent to every New Zealander - `The law is a joke. Don't comply. The authorities are so wussy they apologise for bothering offenders. Ignore the police.'

"The Minister's most revealing statement this morning was that the criminal justice system is supposed to `inconvenience' offenders in the `hope' that they will be led to `modify their behaviour'. He and Justice Minister Phil Goff think justice is supposed to work `for the offender'. It isn't. It's supposed to work for the rest of us, those who don't offend, or if they do, pay their fines on time.

"What happened to punishment for people who scoff at the law so they'll never do it again and nor will any of their mates.

"There's a very simple solution to non-payment of fines - it's called imprisonment. Our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents knew all about it. They benefited, with crime rates at a tiny fraction of the levels generated by Justice Minister Phil Goff's play-way justice," Mr Franks said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government…

In fact, the polls suggest that the public seems to quite like the new government, its Prime Minister, and its proposed plan of action. Somehow, even though a Labour/Greens/NZ First government is in power, the sun is still rising and setting, on time. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Saying ‘Work For The Dole,’ Nicely

As New Zealand First learned the hard way from its two previous periods in government, small parties in MMP coalitions get blamed for the unpopular stuff done by their senior partner in power, but no one remembers the good stuff the junior player brought to the table... More>>


Seismic Blasting: Greenpeace Launches Legal Challenge Against Amazon Warrior

A legal challenge against the world’s largest seismic oil exploration ship was launched at a public rally on Parliament Lawn. More>>


Tertiary: 80,000 People Eligible For Fees Free

The Government has today made good on its 100-day promise of delivering the first year of fees-free post school training and education and industry training from 1 January next year, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. More>>


PM's Presser: Rebuilding Cathedrals, Felling Trees

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the press conference today with Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Dr Megan Woods to announce urgent legislation this week for the rebuilding of the Christ Church Cathedral. More>>





Featured InfoPages