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'Anywhere but here'

Media Release

'Anywhere but here'

The Howard League has today expressed its dismay over the Whanganui District Council's unanimous resolution to coordinate a community "shunning/trespass" of Stuart Murray Wilson – represented today by Cr. Ray Stevens’ efforts to get trespass notices issues against Wilson..

Howard League president, Paul O'Neill, said "the community has every right to demand that appropriate safeguards are in place before people like Mr Wilson are released into out communities, but, when experts are unanimous in saying that shunning and ostracising of such people exponentially increases the risk of re-offending it is simply a disgrace for Whanganui's civic leaders to unanimously resolve to co-ordinate just that”.

“Furthermore” O’Neill said, “It’s blatant hypocrisy”.

As prominent barrister, and Howard League member, Michael Bott recently pointed out, Lloyd McIntosh, arguably Whanganui’s worst sex offender currently resides in Christchurch on parole.

“I don’t see the Whanganui Council suggesting a swap”, said O’Neill

While the Howard League accepts that Whanganui’s leaders have every right to ask that sound release plans are in place for high risk offenders, O’Neill points out that Murray will be subject to perhaps the strictest conditions ever imposed on a parolee, and his extended supervision order is in effect tantamount to a 10 year extension of his sentence. He will also be constantly monitored.

O’Neill says that, “An ‘anywhere but here’ approach may serve the interests of local politicians but it is not in the best interests of New Zealand – and it is certainly a bit rich coming from a place quite willing to export their own problems”.

“We fully accept that his is not an easy situation, but the Whanganui Council are making it worse”.

© Scoop Media

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