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


National talks tough …. again

National talks tough …. again

National's new law and order policy recycles the same old rhetoric that they never deliver on in government, says Corrections Minister Paul Swain.

"National always talks tough but does nothing," Mr Swain said. "The law and order referendum in 1999 was a reflection of the fact that National talked tough on crime but did nothing for nine years in office.

"It took a Labour-led government to introduce longer sentences, tougher bail and parole laws, victims' rights legislation, record police numbers, record police budget, and tough new DNA laws. As a result, the prison population is rising and the crime rate is falling.

"Under the parole laws introduced in 2002, public safety is the overriding factor, and offenders considered a risk must be denied parole. Judges can also set long minimum non-parole periods and inmates can be kept in prison until the very last day of their sentence if they pose a risk to public safety.

"Re-offending rates on parole are also much lower than re-offending rates of people who are just turned out on the streets when they complete their sentences.

"Existing laws are far better at protecting the public than National's old sentencing and parole laws. It's ironic that the offenders that Dr Brash highlighted in his speech today – William Bell and Taffy Hotene – re-offended after being released under National's inadequate laws.

"Under this government's legislation, Bell is now serving a minimum non-parole period of at least 30 years – the longest ever handed down in New Zealand.

"This government has delivered on its promises but you just can't trust National. 'Abolish parole' will probably turn out to be like 'abolish the surcharge' or 'abolish student fees'. It makes you wonder if their policy of abolishing parole will be gone by lunchtime, just like their nuclear policy."

Mr Swain said National was promising to spend billions of dollars building a whole lot of new prisons.

"National needs to front up and tell people where they plan to build them. Will they be built in Kaipara, North Shore, Bay of Plenty, Nelson, and Southland? "New Zealanders should also be worried that Dr Brash is now indicating that he will slash government social services to find the billions he will need to pay for, and run, all these prisons.

"National have also been banging on about police numbers, but when they had the opportunity to spell out their policy today, all we heard was a whole lot of weasel words and no commitment.

"In contrast, this Government has already added more than 450 police. We now have a record number of police and a record police Budget of $1.06 billion."

Mr Swain said that while the government had toughened up on sentencing, building new prisons was only part of the answer.

"We need to make sure that fewer people go to prison in the first place, through early intervention, and that fewer return after they are released, through better rehabilitation and reintegration. We think we have the approach about right.

"Rhetoric from National simply will not do," Mr Swain said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news