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Labour’s 14-year-old idea insults victims of crime

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

12 February 2008

Labour’s 14-year-old idea insults victims of crime

Helen Clark today insults all victims of crime by waiting till the election year of her bid for a fourth term in office to re-cook policies she first announced 14 years ago, says National Justice spokesman, Simon Power.

“Her announcement that she will be developing a Charter of Victims’ Rights and asking for advice on a victims’ compensation scheme is a stunning admission that she has done nothing on this for the eight years she has been in office, despite talking about it since 1994.

“In a speech to the Mt Albert Lions Club on July 4 that year, she said: ‘We believe a Victims’ Charter needs to be developed to ensure that the voices of victims are heard, and their needs are not forgotten. Labour also intends to consult widely on an appropriate victims’ compensation scheme.’

“She has had eight long years in office to do something about these issues, but it is only now, in a desperate bid for a fourth term in office, that she finally dusts off something that should have been done years ago.

“Victims of crime have been crying out to be heard but Labour has ignored them – until election year.

“Even Justice Minister Annette King has re-announced today that she is ‘determined that 2008 will be the year in which victims' rights are properly addressed’.

“Why wasn’t 2007, or 2006, or 2005, or any of the other eight years of Labour’s time in office the year when victims’ rights were properly addressed?

“What does that say about Labour’s dedication to victims?

“In fact, there is nothing new at all on law and order in Helen Clark’s speech. All she has done is:

* Re-heat the flawed idea of a Sentencing Council, which has the potential to undermine the discretion of judiciary.
* Talk about the Organised Crime Agency, of which no one has any detail.
* Promise to appoint yet another committee to advise justice sector ministers.

“More waiting – still no action.”

Attachment: copy of Helen Clark’s speech from 1994


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