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JustSpeak Congratulates Minister Paula Bennett’s Courage

JustSpeak Congratulates Minister Paula Bennett’s Courage

Today it was announced that the Government would take Child Harm Prevention Orders off the table. JustSpeak wishes to congratulate Minister Bennett for taking this positive, courageous step. However, we note that the Minister has announced the Government’s intention to extend Supervision Orders and to create a Sex Offenders Register. JustSpeak has similar reservations about the lack of evidence behind these measures.

“We believe the prevention of abuse of children in Aotearoa is of utmost importance – that’s why it is important that the government adopt measures that will actually address the causes and consequently prevent harm to children.”

JustSpeak commented on this Bill in August last year and it is great to observe the Government carefully considering the public’s submissions to the Select Committee. JustSpeak were concerned that these orders were not evidence-based, that they would breach several rights in the Bill of Rights Act 1990, and that there existed more sustainable long-term approaches to preventing harm to children.

JustSpeak is glad to see that these orders have been taken off the table as there is a lack of evidence that these measures would have reduced the risk of harm to children over the long term and across our communities.

JustSpeak wishes to acknowledge the Minister’s decision to take these orders off the table. We are pleased that those who submitted against these orders were listened to, and that the legislation has been amended accordingly. We hope the Minister takes a similar, carefully reasoned approach when examining the extended Supervision Orders and Sex Offenders Register strategies.

Minister Paula Bennett has made the right decision today. There are other ways to work towards protecting New Zealand’s young people, and JustSpeak welcomes the opportunity to share our opinion on a way forward on this work. We have already produced a report card on the Youth Crime Action Plan, and intend to submit future legislation around those strategies the Minister suggested today.

Our thoughts on the Youth Crime Action Plan:


Our original release on the Child Harm Protection Orders can be found here: http://justspeak.org.nz/child-harm-protection-orders-a-step-in-the-wrong-direction-post/

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