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Mapp appalled sex offenders can get taxi licences

Wayne Mapp National Party MP

17 March 2006

Mapp appalled sex offenders can get taxi licences

A late Labour Party amendment to the Land Transport Bill has allowed serious sex offenders sentenced to jail terms of up to a year to apply to be taxi drivers.

Wayne Mapp, MP for North Shore, says he's appalled the law change will allow sex offenders up to and including rapists to apply for taxi-driving certificates.

"The Labour Government has stuffed up the repair job of the law, in which a number of taxi and bus drivers had their licences revoked due to minor convictions many years ago," says Dr Mapp.

"The select committee had set out strict criteria to fix the problem. The offence had to be minor and there had to be no imprisonment. Only in these cases could the license be reinstated.

"But the Government, in a very late amendment by Jim Anderton on Thursday, has completely overturned the select committee work, which would have kept all serious sex offenders out of the taxi industry.

"It is an appalling lack of judgment to allow serious sex offenders to apply to be in the taxi industry. Very short jail terms for serious sex offences were more common in the 1960s and 70s.

"The public has a right to know that their wives and daughters will be safe when they travel in taxis. How can that be guaranteed if sex offenders are allowed to drive taxis?"

ENDS

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