Parliament

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

 

Stronger sex offence laws a step closer

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Justice

26 October 2004

Media statement

Stronger sex offence laws a step closer

Women who commit sex offences against children will no longer be able to escape the law when a Bill closing the current loophole is passed, says Justice Minister Phil Goff.

The Law and Order Select Committee reported the Crimes Amendment Bill (No. 2) back to Parliament today, clearing the way for the Bill to be passed through its final stages early next year.

"The Crimes Amendment Bill significantly toughens the law against both males and females who commit predatory sex offences against children and young people under the age of 16," Mr Goff said.

"The maximum penalty for sexual connection with a young person aged between 12 and 16 will be increased by three years, from seven to 10 years' jail. The time limit for prosecuting such offences will also be removed.

"The Bill provides no defence of similarity of age, which is a defence in many western countries. However police practice has been to not seek prosecution when the relationship is consensual and the parties have been of similar age.

"Under existing a defence exists where there is a genuine mistaken belief in age which can be proved. Changes are made by toughening the requirement so that the older person must have taken steps to verify the younger person's age. If no such steps were taken, no defence can be claimed.

"The arbitrary age over which this defence could be claimed is also removed as it is contradictory to the Bill of Rights. It does not make sense for one person aged under 21 to be able to claim a defence while another person a few days or weeks older would be automatically guilty despite also having made a genuine mistake.

"The offence of sex connection with someone under care and protection is broadened into a new offence of familial sexual abuse. This provides protection for young people up to the age of 18 against caregivers with power and authority over them, who exploit that authority to have a sexual relationship with those under their care.

"In line with submissions by CCS, there is no longer a blanket prohibition on people who are intellectually disabled having sexual relationships, as long as their disability is not such that they cannot give or refuse their consent."

Mr Goff said the definition of rape, which is currently a specific male against female offence only, had been given considerable focus by the select committee. In the end, a majority both of submitters and committee members on balance favoured retaining the status quo.

"This is a good Bill which will improve the law's protection for society's most vulnerable against sexual predators, be they male or female. This Bill spent seven months at select committee; was the subject of public submissions, and attracted considerable media attention. It has been given extremely detailed examination," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

© 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


Reaction

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>>

ALSO:


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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election