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Refusal To Release Crown Law Advice On Triangles

Media Release from Yellow Triangle Prevention Project

June 21, 2000


MINISTER REFUSES TO RELEASE CROWN LAW ADVICE; PROJECT APPEALS TO OMBUDSMEN


The Yellow Triangle Prevention Project has appealed to the office of the Ombudsmen for the public release of the Crown Law advice on the controversial under 25 scheme. The appeal follows the refusal from George Hawkins, the Minister of Police, to release the advice under the Official Information Act.


The Yellow Triangle Prevention Project, a coalition of young people and youth groups opposed to the Under 25 Scheme, appealed because it believes the Minister has mislead the public about the legality of the Under 25 Scheme. The Project believes that the Minister deliberately failed to acknowledge the Consistency 2000 process which requires the government to comply with the Human Rights Act by the year 2002 (changed from the year 2000 by the previous Government under the Human Rights Amendment Act 1999).


Yani Johanson, Project Coordinator said today:


"If the Minister of Police is so confident that the Under 25 Scheme is lawful and does not discriminate then why is he refusing to release the advice to the public? What is he afraid of? I challenge the Minister to be open about his rationale for believing that the Under 25 Scheme is legal. According to the logic in his statement, the Crown Law advice would also classify a scheme targeting Maori and Pacific Island people as lawful. How can the public have confidence in the Minister of Police when he has displayed less courage than the lion in the Wizard of OZ?"


"The Minister's refusal to release the advice and then portray the scheme as non-discriminatory has seriously undermined the Human Rights Commission which is currently investigating several formal complaints. It is an absolute outrage that the Police are extending the scheme in Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton and possibly Auckland because of the Minister's statement but before the Human Rights Commission has ruled on the legality of the scheme."

ends


Contact for further comment: Yani Johanson 021-262-1893


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