Goverment push urgent legislation to monitor criminals

By Ripeka Timutimu

Parliament is under urgency as the National government push through legislation to monitor criminals being deported from Australia.

Justice Minister Amy Adams announced today around 20 New Zealand criminals will return here from Australia as early as Thursday this week. She says there are some serious criminals in the mix, “My primary concern is keeping the law abiding public of New Zealand safe. This supervision regime will put in place parole-like conditions to allow New Zealand authorities to monitor offenders who return here.”

The Returning Offenders (Management and Information) Bill introduced by the Government is a key measure in a suite of initiatives to strengthen oversight of deported offenders.

Māori Party Co-Leader, Te Ururoa Flavell says his party will be supporting the bill and adds, “We need to take a good look at the seriousness of the crimes of these people, so that our communities here can be assured of their own safety”

The proposed Bill contains three key aspects:

  • Allowing police to compel returning offenders to provide information (names, date of birth, etc) and in some cases a DNA sample.
  • Standard monitoring and supervision conditions that are automatically imposed on all eligible returning offenders.
  • New powers to the District Court to impose special conditions (such as restrictions on not residing near a school which can be subject to electronic monitoring).

The bill is expected to pass through the house this evening or tomorrow.