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

 

Change is long overdue: Prisoners must be allowed to vote

MEDIA RELEASE: 12 August 2019

WELLINGTON HOWARD LEAGUE FOR PENAL REFORM

Today's release of the Waitangi Tribunal's lastest report, He Aha i Pērā Ai, is an important and resounding affirmation of the need for the Electoral Act to be changed to allow all prisoners a right to vote. Following significant attention given to prisoner voting in recent times, including last year's Supreme Court ruling that section 80(1)(d) is inconsistent with the NZ Bill of Rights Act, the Waitangi Tribunal has also recommended that "the legislation is amended urgently to remove the dis¬qualification of all prisoners from voting, irrespective of their sentence."

The Wellington Howard League endorses and fully supports the Tribunal's findings and recommendations.

"Denying Māori prisoners the vote has denied their tino rangatiratanga and this needs to be rectified." Christine McCarthy, President, Wellington Howard League said. "Significantly, the Tribunal has also clearly stated that a return to the law as it was before 15 December 2010 is inappropriate "because even that law disproportionately affected Māori.""

"Voting is a fundamental human right and prisoners should not be denied this." McCarthy continued. "The Tribunal's finding of the disproportionate impact on Māori of disenfranchising prisoners is not surprising given the well-known existence of systemic racism throughout the criminal justice system in New Zealand. The Tribunal's recommendations are hugely important. Repealing section 80(1)(d) is long overdue and this report gives government yet another indication that the time for change is here."

The Wellington Howard League initiated a parliamentary petition earlier this year asking Parliament to "repeal section 80(1)(d) of the Electoral Act 1993 to enable all New Zealand prisoners to be eligible to vote in New Zealand elections." Over 2,000 people signed the petition - more than half of them were prisoners.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Whether We Should Be Betting Quite So Heavily On Astra Zeneca’s Covid Vaccine

According to this week’s Speech from the Throne, maintaining public safety during the pandemic will remain the government’s top priority. Next year will (hopefully) bring the rolling out of a free vaccination against Covid-19 to New Zealander. Currently, there are three possible vaccine contenders but the effectiveness of the vaccine will be only one of the factors determining which vaccine will pre-dominate. On the basis of the cost per dose, and the ease of manufacture, storage and distribution, the Astra Zeneca/Oxford University vaccine will almost certainly be the prime choice for New Zealand, at least initially... More>>

 

New Zealand Government: Speech From The Throne

It is my privilege to exercise the prerogative of Her Majesty the Queen and open the 53rd Parliament.
In the October election, New Zealanders elected a majority Government for the first time under our Mixed Member Proportional electoral system... More>>

Grant Robertson: Government To Review Housing Settings

New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Recommends New DNA Laws For Criminal Investigations

Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission today released a report that recommends a new, comprehensive regime to control how DNA is obtained, used and retained for criminal investigations. The report has revealed significant gaps in the operation ... More>>

ALSO:


New Zealand Government: To Declare A Climate Emergency

The Government will declare a climate emergency next week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said today. “We are in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact on nearly every aspect of our lives and the type of planet our children will inherit ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Announce Portfolio Reshuffle With Talented And Energised Caucus Team

“The Green Party caucus offers a breadth of talent and energy to the Parliament this term. In ten MPs you have a small business owner, a human rights lawyer, an academic, a climate negotiator, a transport planner, and so much more”, Green Party ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels