Parliament

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

 

Govt Tells Multiple Offenders To Start Lying: ACT


Govt Tells Multiple Offenders To Start Lying About Their Past

The Clean Slate Act, which suppresses the criminal records of over 500,000 New Zealanders, comes in to force this week, ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks reminded people today.

"Hardly anyone knows about it. Even Business New Zealand got it wrong, in warning its members. It said that it would allow offenders to apply to have their records suppressed. That's wrong. The records are automatically suppressed, for everyone who qualifies, until they commit a fresh offence. Then the record revives for another seven years. Not much comfort to the victim of the fresh offence, who might not have been a victim if they'd been allowed to know.

"So the Act lies in its title. It doesn't create a clean slate, and it instructs people to lie about their past after seven years of not being caught in New Zealand," Mr Franks said.

"The best predictor of future offending is past offending, especially multiple past offending, and one of the best incentives to stay straight is concern about your reputation, and the reputation of your family. Now Mr Goff and his Labour colleagues are ending both of those alternatives to formal punishment. They're telling young offenders that they need not worry about their reputation, and people who have to trust others are not allowed to know the past.

"From Tuesday, a priest could face a $10,000 fine for telling parish members to obey the commandment to tell the truth. A would-be fiancée, asking her intended about his past, faces the same fine. So does someone looking for a flatmate, a club considering a treasurer, or employers trying to get objective information about someone who will be in a position of trust.

"Labour has exempted the criminal justice and security systems, but not medical and educational services that most innocent New Zealanders rely on. Even the Law Society checking the honesty of young lawyers doesn't get an exemption.

"This law isn't about giving second chances. It is about nine, ten or fifteen second chances. Most New Zealanders who know about one or two long past offences of course would and do give offenders a second chance. But this law applies no matter how many previous offences there were, as long as the crime hasn't resulted in prison. Our `play way' justice system means the average prisoner has had nine previous convictions before going to prison.

"This Bill is about forcing forgiveness, not because of compassion, or being satisfied that the past is the past, but through compulsory ignorance. Labour and the Greens know that only idiots would consider multiple prior offences information was irrelevant, but patterns of offending are the best objective predictors of re-offending risk.

"The seven years deemed rehabilitation will still apply, no matter how seriously you have offended overseas during that time. This law will not work. It will hurt people who might expect help from it. The well connected will still be able to find out about previous offences.

"The next step will be even more bizarre. The Select Committee adopted the suggestion of the Human Rights Commission, that it become illegal for New Zealanders to discriminate against someone with a proven crime history, or to give preference to someone who has never offended," Mr Franks said.

* For background detail and further comment including the ACT Minority Commentary in the Select Committee Report see http://www.act.org.nz/action/documents/cleanslate.pdf

© 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