Parliament

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

 

ACT - for the Rule of Law

Richard Prebble Speech To Launch ACT's Law & Order Policy 1.00pm Tuesday November 23 1999 Ascot Park Hotel, Invercargill.

I have come to Invercargill because this city has become a symbol of the break down in Government responsibility to protect New Zealanders from lawlessness.

What happened to the Lawton family is every one's worst nightmare -a gang move in next door and terrorise you. The Lawton's stood up for their rights as New Zealanders and the State let them down.

Why should the Lawton's have to go into hiding? Why should gang members be able to make such brazen threats?

I saw Mr Lawton on the television saying,"well, at least my family is safe for six years, while Charles Te Kahu is in prison. The Lawton's are not safe for six years. Under a law passed by Labour and National that gang member can be out of jail in just two years. As he was held in jail prior to the trial - the gang member could be out in as little as 18 months.

We have not got the rule of law when families like the Lawton's can be threatened and terrorised.

A basic function of any government is to provide the "Queen's peace" to ensure the rule of law, to provide law and order.

ACT MPs from the moment we arrived in Parliament have called for tougher more effective laws and more Police on the beat. The first change we must make is to pass Truth in Sentencing into law. Every offender should serve at least 80% of their court imposed prison sentence.

Let's stop our revolving door bail system where 17% of offenders on bail commit new crimes.. Let's stop legal aid abuses across the board, from lawyers to criminals ripping off the system. Let's put an end to lenient sentences by soft judges - the Crown must appeal when judges get it wrong.

ACT put into law mandatory thirteen year minimum sentences for home invasion where murder is committed. ACT supports Brian Neeson's degrees of murder Bill to massively increase the penalties for first degree murder.

Our policy is also to increase the penalty for intimidating witnesses to the same penalty as the crime being prosecuted.

Law and Order has become a key issue in this election.

Labour, the Alliance and the Greens have come out against Truth in Sentencing. Labour says we can't afford to keep violent criminals in jail.

Labour says to the Lawton family - a Labour Government will let out the gang member who threatened you after he has served just two years of his sentence because Labour says they can't afford to protect your family. ACT says we can't afford not to keep violent criminals in jail.

In Australia, where judges hand down tougher sentences and where the politicians do not let violent criminals out of jail early, the crime rate is lower and re-convictions of released criminals are just 37%. Here in New Zealand 80% of those released from jail are reconvicted within two years.

Most crimes in this country are committed by a small group of dangerous recidivist criminals. Letting them out early on "home leave" has failed. Yes, ACT's policy does require more prisons, but it is a small price to pay for the Lawton's peace.

Labour has enough money for ten new Ministries and 160 new spending proposals but they say they can't afford to find the money to maintain law and order. Political parties that will not accept their responsibility to protect the lives and property of our citizens do not have the right to be our Government.

ACT has made Truth in Sentencing a bottom line coalition policy. I promise the people of Invercargill that if ACT is part of a new Government next week our first job will be to make my Truth in Sentencing Bill that's currently before a Parliamentary Select Committee, a Government Bill. It will be one of the first new laws passed.

In passing Truth in Sentencing ACT will be sending a message to all law breakers that there is a new Government, that there is a new respect for the rule of law and in future the priority will be the rights of the victim not the criminal. In future people will be held to account for their actions - personal responsibility will be at the heart of a new Government that ACT is a part of. That Government will be committed to the rule of law. ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


© 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