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Mother and baby bill tipped to pass in Parliament

27 August 2008

Mother and baby bill tipped to pass in Parliament today

Green Party MP Sue Bradford's third private member's bill in this term
of Parliament is expected to pass its final reading in the House this
evening.

Her Corrections (Mothers with Babies) Amendment Bill has attracted
unusually unanimous support from across all parties.

The bill aims to extend the period of time during which some mothers can
keep their babies with them in prison from the current six months to 24
months.

It will also open the way for some remand and high security-classified
women prisoners to be able to keep their babies with them, something
that has never been the case before.

"I am thrilled with the cross party support for this legislation. This
is only a small reform to our corrections system, but it is a humane
improvement which will above all benefit some of the small number of
babies impacted by their mother's imprisonment," Ms Bradford says.

The Green Party believes Sue Bradford's achieving of three successful
members bills in one session of Parliament is a New Zealand record in
recent times.

Ms Bradford's two previous bills were the amending of s59 of the Crimes
Act which came into effect in June 2007, and the abolition of most
discriminatory youth rates for 16 and 17 year old workers, which came
into effect in April 2008.

The Green Party also succeeded in passing the Employment Relations
(Flexible Working Hours) Amendment Bill, which came into effect on July
1 2008.

This brings the total number of bills passed by the Greens in the past
three years to four. The Greens are the only party to have successfully
passed any members bill during the current parliamentary term.

ends


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