NZ First has confirmed a repeal of the Three Strikes law is off the table after its caucus met at Parliament on Tuesday morning.
It comes after Justice Minister Andrew Little was forced to backtrack on the proposed repeal that he was planning to take to Cabinet on Monday after NZ First indicated it wouldn’t support it.
In a press conference on Monday morning Little tried to leave the door open on Three Strikes being repealed in the future, saying NZ First didn’t support a “piecemeal” approach and wanted to see the total justice reform package.
However, sources told Stuff later on Monday there was no chance the repeal would remain on the table after NZ First MPs had spent weeks consulting with its voter base and was reluctant to budge on a law and order issue that has been a long-held party position.
The caucus met on Tuesday after which its law and order spokesman Darroch Ball confirmed in a statement “Three Strikes is not the priority in this necessary reform effort”.
The NZ First statement is here. They say:
The Sentencing and Parole Reform Act 2010, known as ‘Three Strikes’, progressively increases consequences for repeat serious violent and sexual offenders. Ministry of Justice figures show that since the law passed fewer people have been convicted on ‘second strike’ offences.
“The law provides a firm framework to deter recidivism, and sends a clear message to our most serious offenders,” says New Zealand First spokesperson for Law and Order, Darroch Ball.
The left go on and on about the need to reduce reoffending (and I agree), and here you have a measure that has seen reoffending drop. So why are they trying to repeal it?
“We’re talking about serious violent or sexual crimes – murder, rape, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, kidnapping, and aggravated robbery. We need to protect our community from these recidivist, highly dangerous offenders.
So much for Little’s spin that NZ First might still back repeal as part of a wider package.
Basically his political management of this issue has been a disaster.