ACT Wants Parliament To Reconsider Smith Petition
ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble today said his Party would re-table the petition signed by 271,223 New Zealanders following the murder of Owaka teenager, Kylie Smith.
"This petition grew from the anger of New Zealanders at the justice system that puts the rights of criminals ahead of the rights of law-abiding New Zealanders. We must have Truth in Sentencing, we must have bail and parole laws that keep New Zealanders and their families safe from dangerous criminals.
"In 1991, 15 year old Kylie Smith was raped and executed by Paul Bailey. Three women from the local community of Owaka, were so outraged by the brutal murder of young Kylie, that they organised the petition. 271,223 New Zealanders backed their calls for tougher sentencing and signed their petition.
"Parliament has ignored the Smith family, ignored the community of Owaka, ignored the voices of the New Zealanders who signed the petition. Parliament has ignored the demands of New Zealanders for a fairer Justice system.
"I have with me today Kylie's parent's, Dawn and Bevan Smith. Their daughter's murderer is up for parole in two years. They want answers from Parliament and I am today giving them an assurance that ACT will ensure that the petition is no longer lost in the basement of the Beehive.
"The Parliamentary Select Committee that considered the petition gave it the lowest possible recommendation. The MPs who were on that Committee, and who are still in Parliament, Labour's Leanne Dalziel and Steve Maharey and National's Clem Simich the Minister of Police should be accountable for failing to act on the petition. I want them to tell the Smith family and the hundreds of thousands of New Zealander's who signed the petition why Paul Bailey will be eligible for parole and can be released from prison in two years time. That's not justice. It's not even fair.
"ACT says justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done. The justice system must be fair to all.
"ACT wants justice for Dawn and Bevan Smith and for every other New Zealander. It's time we had some positive change. ACT promises to deliver justice," said Hon Richard Prebble.