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Opposition MPs Bemoan Three Strikes Bill Process

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 17 NZPA - The Green and Labour Parties are angry over how changes to add the Government-ACT Party three strikes policy to a bill are being done.

Last month the Government announced that the policy would be incorporated into the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill being considered by Parliament's Law and Order committee.

Today the committee released its interim report including the changes which would see offenders who committed certain violent crimes get a warning on their first offence; a further warning and jail sentence with no parole for a second offence and on a third offence the maximum penalty available for that offence with no parole.

In Parliament this afternoon Labour's Clayton Cosgrove revealed that Labour was not allowed to include its minority review in the interim report.

"It is clear that (select committee Chairwoman Sandra Goudie) is attempting to prevent Labour members raising our very serious concerns about the process relating to this bill," he said.

Speaker Lockwood Smith said committees were able to pass resolutions by a majority, preventing minority reports.

Green Party MP David Clendon said the process was a joke.

The committee was seeking further submissions on the bill from those who already commented on the original bill, and that closes on March 5. The final bill will be reported back to Parliament on March 30.

Mr Clendon said the "Committee was running a dodgy process" considering the major changes made and the timeline was ridiculous.

"This legislation won't make anyone safer. It's just another example of irrational punitive legislation from a populist Government that is doing nothing to reduce crime," he said.

Announcing the Government-ACT agreement last month Police Minister Judith Collins said the policy would hold serious offenders to account.

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