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


Graffiti moves election-year hypocrisy

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice Spokesman

John Carter MP
National Party Local Government Spokesman

15 February 2008

Graffiti moves election-year hypocrisy

Helen Clark’s announcement of tougher action on graffiti smacks of hypocrisy and election-year opportunism, says National’s Justice spokesman, Simon Power.

“While honest citizens have been putting up with this scourge for eight years, Labour has done nothing – until election year.

“In her 1999 election manifesto, Helen Clark promised a programme of restorative justice “in which young offenders and their families can opt for community work, e.g. cleaning up graffiti, as an alternative to prosecution.” Nothing happened.

“Then, in November 2005, one of Labour’s own MPs promoted the Manukau City Council (Control of Graffiti) Bill aimed at banning the sale of spray cans to under 18s, but the Labour-dominated Local Government and Environment Select Committee voted that it should not proceed.

“At that time, Minister Phil Goff said there were ‘Bill of Rights issues in terms of some provisions in the bill’.”

National’s Local Government spokesman, John Carter, says the Labour MPs argued that restricting the sale of spray paint would ‘encourage the use of alternative graffiti implements’.

“What’s more, those MPs doubted that measures to restrict the sale of spray paint and to impose harsher penalties would work, saying ‘there is little evidence that the measures proposed would actually reduce the incidence of graffiti’, and that ‘the Government’s position is that there is no need for legislative change’.

“National supported the Hawkins Bill, and will look at carefully at Labour’s proposals.”

Mr Power says Labour’s trumpeting of an increase in penalties is disingenuous, considering there is already provision for a $2,000 fine or three months imprisonment for wilful damage under Section 11 of the Summary Offences Act, and seven years imprisonment under the Crimes Act, according to Ministry of Justice advice.

“I am sure the public will see this announcement for what it is – election-year hypocrisy.

“All of a sudden, at the beginning of election year and after several highly publicised incidents involving graffiti, there is need for legislative change, and Labour’s defence of the so-called rights of taggers don’t matter any more.

“They’re down in the polls and now they decide to do something about youth crime.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need.

Spot the difference with New Zealand, where DHBs are under intense pressure to reduce deficits within a climate of chronic underfunding. More>>


Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election