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


Labour’s broken promise 8 : prisoner compensation

Simon Power MP
National Party Justice & Corrections Spokesman

9 October 2008

Labour’s broken promise No 8 on law and order: prisoner compensation

The Labour Government has failed to live up to a promise that it would stop prisoners keeping compensation awarded to them, says National’s Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.

“Labour’s failure to live up to this promise is another example of how they have let victims down.

“They said they would let prisoners make claims but that they would be unlikely to get the money.

“Former Justice Minister Phil Goff said that under Labour’s Prisoners and Victims’ Claims Act 2005 ‘there will be no financial incentive’ for prisoners to claim compensation [26 August 2004], and that it would ‘restrict compensation for inmates to exceptional cases … and I make no apology for that’ [15 December 2004].

“But Labour’s bill has not restricted compensation for prisoners ‘to exceptional cases’, and prisoners continue to get more compensation than their victims.

“Figures show five prisoners have received $35,081.94 in compensation while only $19,960.67 has gone to two victims.

“As recently as seven weeks ago, a prisoner was awarded $21,612.25 compensation, and the Justice Ministry says that if that prisoner’s victim does not make a claim on that money by February 21 next year, he will keep that money.*

“And Labour is happy to let that happen.

“Since Labour’s law, there have been upwards of 33 claims awaiting adjudication totalling $4 million, proving that prisoners have not seen it as a disincentive to making claims.

“Labour likes victims to believe it cares about them, but it’s their law that still allows prisoners to walk away with pockets full of money.

“As long as there is reluctance on the part of victims to make claims – caused by fear or unwillingness to re-live a traumatic event – offenders will continue to benefit.

“National will put compensation won by prisoners but unclaimed by victims into a scheme to help victims with out-of-pocket expenses not covered by ACC or other state help.

“Victims have been waiting nine long years for just another broken promise from Labour.”

*Notice on Justice Dept website:

National’s Victims policy is at:


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Populism’s Changing Of The Guard, Plus A Soul Music Playlist

The weekend’s Newshub/Reid Research poll results - Act up to 11.1%, National up 1% but still sitting at only 28.7%, Labour down to 43%, the Greens up to 8.5% - shows that the combined centre right vote is still languishing nearly 12 points behind the combined centre-left vote, 45 months after the last centre-right government was voted out... More>>


Government: Offers Formal Apology For Dawn Raids
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in the 1970s.

Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families... More>>

Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>


Government: Welcomes Draft Report On The Retail Grocery Sector

The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said... More>>


Human Rights Commission: Successive Governments Responsible For Massive Breaches Of The Right To A Decent Home

Te Kahu Tika Tangata / Human Rights Commission has today launched Framework Guidelines on the Right to a Decent Home in Aotearoa and announced that it will hold a national inquiry into housing... More>>

NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>




InfoPages News Channels