Sensible Sentencing congratulates New Zealand First But urges caution
26th September 2017 - The Sensible Sentencing Trust congratulates New Zealand First on its success in last weekend’s
election. “We trust the party will use its position as Kingmaker wisely, and to promote policies that enhance the safety
of all New Zealanders”.
“One of Sensible Sentencing’s founding principles is that the most important duty of any government is to ensure the
safety of its citizens” said Sensible Sentencing Founder Garth McVicar.
“From what we know of New Zealand First’s policies, we believe that Mr. Peters and his party largely share our view of
what is needed for New Zealand to become a safer country, ideally the country that those of us getting on in years
remember – a country where people didn’t lock their doors when they went to the beach, and where women could walk freely
about on a summer’s night without fear of being accosted – or worse” McVicar said.
“While it is obviously a decision for New Zealand First as to which way they go, we would urge them to closely consider
some of National’s better policies: the three strikes law which sends repeat violent offenders to jail to serve the full
sentence the Judge gave them; the Bail Act reforms which lock up offenders who are likely to offend while on bail; the
law requiring offenders to pay a levy upon conviction which goes into a fund to benefit victims. All these policies are
policies Sensible Sentencing endorses completely, and we believe they are also policies entirely consistent with public
safety and New Zealand First policy” said McVicar.
“On the other hand, there are a number of Labour law and order policies which give rise to considerable disquiet on our
part, and which we believe are entirely contrary to what New Zealand First stands for” said McVicar.
“Examples of these extremely dangerous policies include Labour wanting to repeal the bail reforms
that were introduced due to the high level of violent offences – including the death of Christie Marceau
– committed by offenders on bail.”
“Labour also announced an absurd policy to release 3000 prisoners which they say are wrongly in jail. Our research shows
– research we are very happy to share with New Zealand first – that the average prisoner has racked up 46 convictions
before he or she is finally sent to jail. We have determined – from OIA requests – that more than 70% of prisoners are
there for offences of serious violence, and 15% of the 10,000 prisoners in jail are there for serious drug offences –
the large majority for importing manufacturing or dealing in P, a drug that is a scourge in New Zealand, and lies behind
the majority of serious offending. Labour needs to explain just which category of prisoner they wish to release” McVicar
said. “We are confident that when they see the evidence, New Zealand First will see the utter absurdity of Labour policy
in this area.”
“We say public safety must be paramount and must come before the so called ‘rights’ of prisoners. It is quite clear that
law-breakers need to work very hard to get sent to jail in this country, and we sincerely hope New Zealand First,
whichever way they go, will ensure that those who are locked up for good reason remain locked up.”
“The fact that National with its tough law-and-order policies got such a large percentage of the vote is clear
indication the public are prepared to support a party that puts public safety and victims’ rights first” McVicar said.