Parliament

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

 

Bill to protect children receives unanimous support

Hon Simon Power
Minister of Justice
18 August 2011

Bill to protect children receives unanimous support

Justice Minister Simon Power today welcomed the unanimous report of the Social Services Select Committee in support of a bill to protect vulnerable children from abuse and neglect.

The Crimes Amendment Bill (No 2) was reported back to Parliament today with only minor technical amendments, after the committee considered 39 written and 10 oral submissions.

The bill:

• Creates a new offence of failing to take reasonable steps to protect a child or vulnerable adult from the risk of death, grievous bodily harm, or sexual assault. Failure to take reasonable steps to protect a child or vulnerable adult, knowing they were at risk, will result in charges with a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment.

A parent or person over 18 may be found liable if they have frequent contact with the victim, and:

o They are a member of the same household as the victim.
o They do not live in the same household but are so closely connected with it that they are regarded as a member of it.
o They are a staff member of a hospital, institution, or residence where the victim lives.

• Doubles the maximum penalty for cruelty to a child from five years to 10 years' imprisonment. This offence, which deals with ill-treatment and neglect, has also been extended to include vulnerable adults (this relates to those who are in care because of their age, detention, sickness, or mental impairment).

• Extends a legal duty on parents and caregivers, who currently have a duty to provide the necessaries of life, to also take reasonable steps to protect a child or vulnerable adult from injury. Breach of this duty will be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.

“New Zealand has an appalling rate of child abuse and this bill sends a very clear message that it’s not okay for people to stand by and do nothing,” Mr Power said.

“Children are among the most vulnerable members of society, and as such they deserve special protection. And at the very least they deserve those closest to them to put their wellbeing and safety first.

“There are no easy solutions to New Zealand’s child abuse problem but this bill will ensure that people who turn a blind eye to abuse are made an example of.”

A number of other measures to tackle child abuse are canvassed in the Government’s Green Paper on Vulnerable Children.

The bill also:

• Increases the maximum penalty for possession of an offensive weapon from two to three years' imprisonment as part of the Government’s package to respond to concerns about knife crime.
• Amends the definition of the ‘claim of right’ defence so the defence is available only in circumstances where the defendant believed they have a personal right to the property concerned.
• Allows people to be prosecuted if they are caught during a covert police operation targeting sexual grooming.

The Government intends to make further progress on the bill before the house rises for the election.

The select committee report can be found here.

More information on the bill can be found here.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On That $4 Billion Hit To National’s Economic Cred

National released its economic and tax policy last Friday. Weirdly, the plan was announced right at the end of the news week, when whatever impact it managed to generate would be likely to dissipate over the weekend. Well…. that now seems all for the best. The plan is now known to have a $4 billion hole in it. Apparently, National used outdated figures for the amount it stood to save from NOT paying into the Super Fund. Amusingly, the $4 billion mistake was almost exactly the same size as the $4.7 billion that National still promises to give away in tax cuts... More>>

 

PM: Auckland At Bolstered Level 2, Rest Of Country Provisionally At Level 1

Pandemic alert levels for the whole country have been reviewed by Cabinet and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is announcing whether restrictions will be eased. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Supporting Workers And Valuing Their Contribution

Making sure working New Zealanders are safe, healthy and that their contribution to the economy is valued is at the heart of Labour’s Workplace Relations Policy.
“This is Labour demonstrating its commitment to helping working New Zealanders by increasing sick leave, raising wages, protecting them while they are at work, growing jobs and investing in the economy,”... More>>

ALSO:

PREFU: Economy Doing Better Than Forecast

The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released today shows that the near-term economic recovery has been stronger than the Treasury and many economists predicted at the May Budget, as the economy bounced back strongly out of lockdown... More>>

ALSO:


PM Statement: Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level Review

Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin. This week is the Māori ... More>>

ALSO:


Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>

National: Investing In Our Children’s Future

A National Government will prioritise lifting achievement for all New Zealand children, no matter their background or ability, National Party Leader Judith Collins and National’s Education spokesperson Nicola Willis say. “Parents just want what’s best for ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels