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Labour happy to appoint unsuitable JPs

Labour happy to appoint unsuitable JPs

National’s Internal Affairs spokesman, Lindsay Tisch, says Labour seems to be happy to appoint people to be JPs when they clearly have unsuitable backgrounds and do not pass the criteria.

He is commenting on a statement in Parliament today by Associate Justice Minister Rick Barker concerning the approval given to Labour candidate Steven Ching to become a JP.

Mr Tisch says Mr Ching should not have been made a JP because he had pleaded guilty to obstructing a fisheries officer, and he has since been using his position as a JP for commercial gain.

During question time, Mr Tisch asked Mr Barker if he was aware the Federation of Justices had said Mr Ching’s application to become a JP should not have got through the vetting process, and he asked him to explain what was being done to fix that “mistake” in light of new information about Mr Ching’s advertising.

Mr Barker said that in his opinion it wasn’t a mistake that Mr Ching had been appointed.

Mr Tisch says: “This simply means that they were happy with all the background information they had on him. This is not good enough. It would seem Labour is not interested in doing the necessary checks on people.

“We need to know if there is more that the Justices of the Peace Act 1957 should be doing in this regard. And is the reason that Labour is stalling on tightening the Act because its Great Asian Hope would be the first in line to be disciplined?

“It is important that the suitability of candidates is well researched and that background checks are done.

“It is clear that many of the people appointed as JPs are not suitable for the role, and that many are appointed through political patronage,” Mr Tisch says.


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