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Goff Shows Labour's True Instincts

Goff Shows Labour's True Instincts

Tuesday 2 Nov 2004

Stephen Franks - Press Releases - Crime & Justice

When Justice Minister Phil Goff refuses to consider a law change to restore rural New Zealanders' right to protect their property - as well as themselves - he is showing Labour's mistrust of ordinary people and instinct for power no matter what it costs, ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.

"Police admit that they can't protect rural New Zealand. Until 30 years ago, no one was silly enough to expect that police alone could protect everyone from predators," Mr Franks said.

"But, rather than respect that, Labour would see farmers and their families cringing in the face of rural crime - hanging on the phone waiting for police while predators prowl their property with impunity.

"Mr Goff raises the spectre of an Americanisation of the law. That has not been proposed. ACT wants the law to respect our traditions, and the existing practice of decent law-abiding people - who have to threaten to use reasonable force to defend themselves and their own.

"But they risk losing everything to lawyers, because the Government forces the police to let a court say what is reasonable. The current law tells criminals that they make all the moves, and have all the control in a situation, while defenders have to dither.

"My Crimes (Self-Defence) Amendment Bill does not seek big changes. Rather, it seeks to reverse the effect of changes to the Crimes Act in 1980, to benefit people living far from prompt police aid.

"Labour's monopoly on the use of force works only on law-abiding people. By almost eliminating self-defence, the Government has removed the greatest deterrent to crime: a people able to protect themselves.

"By outright refusing to consider my Bill, Mr Goff has reminded us how politically correct the Clark/Wilson legal establishment is. In contrast, Labour UK Home Secretary Mr Blunkett this week supported calls for law changes.

"It's time to ensure that hard-working people are not humiliated by criminals on their own property. Rural crime pays. Rural New Zealand needs a solution, and my Bill will help provide that," Mr Franks said.


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