Press Release – New Zealand First Party
New Zealand First has always been on the side of law and order. The first words of our policy say “It is a basic right of all New Zealanders to live in a safe society.” EMBARGOED AGAINST DELIVERY
Rt. Hon Winston Peters
Leader NZ First
Address: Public Meeting
Date: November 2 2011
Venue: Pukekohe Town Hall and Concert Chamber
Cnr Massey Ave and Edinburgh St, Pukekohe
‘NZ FIRST LAW AND ORDER INITIATIVES 2011
NO CONCURRENT SENTENCING FOR RAPISTS’
New Zealand First has always been on the side of law and order.
The first words of our policy say “It is a basic right of all New Zealanders to live in a safe society.”
With that in mind we put an extra thousand police on the streets as part of our confidence and supply arrangement with Labour in 2005. We put an extra 235 back up people in the office to support this front line extra 1000.
Then we gave real resources to the Maori Wardens to do sound work on the streets and in all manner of circumstances where the previous climate was for disorder. These measures worked.
Recently you have heard the National Party claim credit for reduced violent crime. The reduction has come about simply because we put extra police on the streets.
It took time to do the recruiting and training but the results are coming through now.
National has always looked at the police force as a target for cost cutting and if you look at the record you will find that New Zealand First was the party that actually increased police numbers.
We are not talking about telephones, computers and the like – we are talking about putting more people in uniform to deal with people.
That’s the only way it can function properly.
We want to target three areas of concern over the next three years.
First we want to reduce the plague of repeat offending. Far too many New Zealanders have come to look at prison as a lifestyle choice.
New Zealand First is going to make that lifestyle choice harder. We are going to give prisoners an incentive to leave jail and make their way in the world.
This is how we are going to do it.
We are going to bring in a system of shorter sharper sentences for repeat offenders.
Although the term of imprisonment is shorter, the offender is required to work.
They will undergo extensive community based rehabilitation programmes and compulsory supervision upon release.
Some offenders will not be considered for this policy.
These are the serious violent offenders such as those who have committed murder, rape, paedophilia, or those who have committed serious drug offences.
This policy will apply to all offenders who have been given a custodial sentence, and are convicted of a crime punishable by a minimum of six months imprisonment and no more than eight years.
The courts will be allowed to impose sentences that act as a deterrent for offenders to keep coming back to prison and as an alternative to sentencing people to longer sentences.
These are the expected outcomes:
• Reduce re-offending by using labour as a deterrent to time in prison.
• Reduce the current rise in New Zealand’s prison population.
• Reduce the number of prisons being built in New Zealand.
• Reduce the rising costs of keeping a person incarcerated.
• Reduce the overall operational costs of prisons.
• Provide prisoners with work experience.
Courts will have the power to reduce a prison sentence by up to 25% less than the minimum parole period allowed under current legislation.
But there are conditions and some of these include:
They can’t be seen by the courts as an alternative form of punishment that sits outside of the range of normal sentencing criteria.
Along with this prison authorities will have the power to impose penalties for misconduct while in prison.
This includes loss of remission days and the withdrawal of all privileges.
Prisoners will be entitled to one visit a week and allowed only one phone call per week.
They will have something to look forward to – rations and diet will be reviewed to allow for the hard labour that will be required from this regime.
Medium security work gangs could undertake work in the community.
We don’t like the thought of chain gangs with armed guards but technology allows electronic bracelets and well trained supervisors.
We would not consider using this it for jobs normally employing New Zealanders. But there is much new work to be done in aforestation and in cleaning up our environment and in dealing with pollution. These are just two examples.
There is an element in our sentencing laws that causes considerable public disquiet.
That element is the practice of concurrent sentencing. An example – a serious offender facing four charges for four serious crimes may be sentenced, for a total of twelve years.
On the worst charge he gets seven years and three and two years for their other two crimes.
Judges allow these offenders to serve the shorter sentences AT THE SAME TIME as the serious seven year sentence.
So instead of doing 12 years the offender is out in five years or less.
The present policy which allows someone to commit rape and murder to the same victim and then get a concurrent sentence is frankly an outrage to first women, and second, society. The concurrent sentence is no deterrent or penalty. NZ First is going to fix that.
New Zealand First will remove concurrent sentences for those guilty of rape and for those who commit offences while on parole, on bail, or while in custody.
It is simple – you commit these serious crimes at the same time – you will do all the time that goes with these offences.
White Collar Crime
In recent years there has been an upsurge in criminal offending among the so-called respectable people.
Billions of dollars of savings have been lost by reckless, careless, self-serving directors of finance houses.
Pretending to be pillars of the community, these financial wizards promised all sorts of returns to gullible investors and when the bubble burst investors – many of them elderly – were left high and dry.
Worse some investors in the Blue Chip mortgage scheme stand to lose their homes as well.
When the companies collapse it seems that the boys at the top always have made golden parachutes for themselves.
They have a hidden trust fund somewhere. Their assets are in another name. They drive flash cars and go to the best restaurants.
The courts have been giving these offenders home detention. What sort of a message is that?
How fair is that? You throw a teenager from Otara into jail for robbing a dairy but a rich man from Remuera gets six months Home D!
We have some bad news for the financial fraudsters. New Zealand First is going to put them in with the offenders doing hard labour.
Let them pay for their crime. It’s only fair and New Zealand First believes in a fair go for everyone.