Parliament

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

 

Clean Slate laws come into force today


Clean Slate laws come into force today

The Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act comes in to force Monday, allowing hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders with minor convictions to finally put past mistakes behind them, Justice Minister Phil Goff said today.

"The new law allows people who have never been sentenced to imprisonment, and who meet the criteria, including having had no convictions in the last seven years, to have their convictions concealed," Mr Goff said.

"The Ministry of Justice estimates that as many as 500,000 New Zealanders will gain relief from this Act. The majority of those people committed some relatively minor offence in their youth and are now totally law-abiding.

"There are few people who can claim to have led totally blameless lives. Those who were convicted many years ago for offences such as shoplifting have, however, often continued to be disadvantaged by those convictions.

"Critics of the Act say it requires individuals to lie. It does not. It simply allows a great many ordinary, and now law-abiding, New Zealanders who have long suffered unnecessary anxiety about past mistakes to finally bury their past. Convictions for minor offending should not be a life sentence.

"The Act only rewards those who have permanently changed their behaviour. Any further conviction, regardless of the sentence, ends a person's entitlement to clean-slate their convictions until they meet all the criteria again."

Mr Goff said that because the Act only concealed convictions, and did not wipe them, full criminal records would still be made available during police investigations or court proceedings; when applying for a firearms licence, or for sensitive types of employment, such as the care of children or national security.

"While the legislation will automatically apply, individuals will still need to check if they meet the eligibility requirements before they claim the benefits of the regime. From tomorrow onwards, people can request a copy of their criminal record from the Privacy Unit at the Ministry of Justice.

Information about how this can be done, and about Clean Slate, is available from the Ministry of Justice’s website www.justice.govt.nz under the 'Information for the Public' section.

"It will still be lawful to ask someone to consent to the disclosure of their criminal record by the Ministry of Justice or the Police. However from tomorrow, if the person has a clean slate, no convictions will be revealed.

"Travellers need to be aware that, because New Zealand legislation is not binding in another country, the Act does not legally excuse them from disclosing all convictions to overseas authorities," Mr Goff said.
The Ministry of Justice has produced a pamphlet about the legislation, which will be available on the Ministry's website. It will also be distributed to police stations, courthouses, Citizens Advice Bureaux and community law centres.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Why Herd Immunity Isn’t A Valid Option, And What’s With Our Reluctance To Wear Masks?

Herd immunity has recently bounced back into the headlines as a tool for managing Covid-19, and as a supposed alternative to lockdowns. In the US, a group of scientists was recently brought together in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a think tank funded by the Koch brothers. The assembled scientists signed the so called Barrington Declaration, which promotes herd immunity as a rational means of re-opening US public schools and the economy at large... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>

ALSO:


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>

ALSO:


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>

ALSO:

Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels