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Aggravating Features


A bill originally intended to protect police and prison officers was extended by wide agreement in Parliament on Tuesday night.

MPs debating the committee stage debate on the Sentencing (Aggravating Factors) Amendment Bill heard its purpose was make any offence against a Police or prison officer, acting in the course of his or her duty, an aggravating factor at sentencing.

It emerged during the evening that the major political parties had agreed to extend its coverage to medical staff and others involved in emergencies.

Labour MP Charles Chauvel explained the reasoning for the changes and the process he underwent.

Justice Minister Judith Collins said National had agreed to back Chauvel’s amendments, but it had not been consulted over changes proposed by NZ First

As a result the NZ First amendment was defeated with National, Maori Party, ACT, United Future and Mana Opposed.

Labour’s amendment passed by 107 to 4 with Mana and Maori Party opposing, a similar vote saw the bill reported with amendment.

The House rose just before 10pm.


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