Swain Meets Local Govt. Over Community Concerns
Central and local government working together on community concerns
Corrections Minister Paul Swain today met with representatives of Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) to discuss the release of high-profile sex offenders into the community after the completion of their sentences.
It has been agreed to establish a working party comprising government officials and LGNZ representatives to find a way forward.
Both sides recognise that there are issues that need to be resolved, as shown by the recent proposal to release Lloyd McIntosh into the Halkett community in Christchurch.
Paul Swain said that LGNZ representatives strongly outlined the concerns from communities about offenders living near them after release.
Mr Swain pointed out at the meeting that the Department of Corrections is legally obliged to release offenders who have served their time.
"There is clearly an issue here to be resolved. These people have to go somewhere but the challenge is to ensure that communities are as safe as possible. I appreciate the commitment of LGNZ to help find a way forward."
The working party will consult with other interested parties and has been asked to report back to ministers and LGNZ by December this year.