Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


NZ Government must step up efforts to end the death penalty

New Zealand Government must step up efforts to end the death penalty

Australian death penalty experts to visit New Zealand – Monday 21 September

The New Zealand Drug Foundation and Amnesty International are calling for the New Zealand Government to increase its diplomatic efforts on the global abolition of the death penalty.

This call follows the conviction and sentencing of Tony de Malmanche who was facing the death penalty for methamphetamine trafficking into Indonesia, and the executions of eight people, including two Australians in Indonesia in May.

“New Zealand needs to make its voice heard loud and clear in this important debate”, said Ross Bell, New Zealand Drug Foundation Executive Director.

“Our government has previously played a central role promoting a global moratorium on the death penalty at the United Nations. The government’s condemnation of the recent Indonesia executions was welcome, but since then we’ve been silent on the many executions conducted by the United Sates of American, Saudi Arabia, China, and our new trading partner Iran,” said Mr Bell.

This year, the World Day Against the Death Penalty (10 October) will focus on ending the use of the death penalty for drug-related offences. 33 countries and territories retain the death penalty for drug crimes, many of which are within our part of the world or are countries with whom New Zealand has a strong trading relationship.

As part of efforts to build political and diplomatic momentum for the abolition of the death penalty the Drug Foundation and Amnesty International are hosting two leading Australian death penalty experts next week. They will meet with the minister responsible for drug policy Hon Peter Dunne, members of Parliament, and government officials.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Julian P McMahon is a Melbourne-based barrister who has worked on death row cases in the Asia region. Most recently, he represented Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, two Australians who were executed in Indonesia in April along with six others. In 2005 Julian represented Australian citizen Van Nguyen who was executed by Singapore for drug trafficking.

Ursula Noye is Vice-President of Reprieve Australia, which provides legal representation to people on death row, and is a lawyer practicising in Melbourne.

Earlier in 2015 eight Australian NGOs issued a joint call to action outlining the key things they want their government to do to put in place. The visit is a chance to hear from those directly involved in death penalty cases how New Zealand can play its part speeding up the demise of this inhumane punishment.

“The Australian Parliament has responded to the recent executions of its citizens by conducting a cross-party inquiry into how Australia can improve its advocacy efforts for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. We are urging our government to do the same. We shouldn’t sit back and wait until another New Zealander is facing a possible execution,” said Mr Bell.

"As a member of the UN Security Council our government has the authority and responsibility to speed up the global trend away from the use of the death penalty,” Mr Bell said.

There is every reason to continue the momentum towards abolition of the death penalty. In 1977 only 16 countries had abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Today, there are 140.

“The use of the death penalty is a misguided effort to combat drug trafficking. There is not a shred of evidence to show that it is an effective method of tackling crime. All countries planning to carry out executions should immediately impose a moratorium as a first step towards abolition,” said Carsten Bockemuehl, Advocacy and Research Coordinator at Amnesty International.

A public seminar is being held on Monday 21 September, at Te Papa from 5.00pm, to which anyone is welcome to attend.


WHAT: Why must they die? Campaigning to end the death penalty, Public talk

DATE: Monday 21 September

TIME: 5.00pm

LOCATION: Icon Room, Te Papa.


Julian P McMahon, Melbourne barrister

Ursula Noye, Vice-President, Reprieve Australia

Carsten Bockemuehl, Advocacy and Research Coordinator at Amnesty International

Chaired by Ross Bell, New Zealand Drug Foundation Executive Director

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National Spreading Panic About The Economy

The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...


Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More

Labour: Grant Robertson To Retire From Parliament
Labour List MP and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will retire from Parliament next month, and later in the year take up the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.