Andrew Little announced:
The SOP proposes two new offences to be added to the Crimes Act. The offences are:
* theft of livestock or other animal, carrying a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment.
* unlawful entry to land used for agricultural purposes, where the offender intends to steal livestock or act unlawfully against specified things, such as buildings or machinery, on that land. That offence carries up to 10 years imprisonment.
“This particular SOP requires agreement of every MP to be considered at Committee Stage. I am grateful that every party has indicated they will support that procedural motion.
“I also want to acknowledge and thank the Primary Production Committee – and particularly National’s Ian McKelvie and Labour’s Kieran McAnulty – for their bipartisan assistance to the Government in addressing the issue of livestock rustling,” said Andrew Little.
Rather unusual to have this added in at the last minute. I presume they need unanimous consent as it is outside the purpose of the current bill (which is dealing with spousal immunity).
The proposed offences look fine to me, but I do worry about making changes to the criminal code that have not been the subject of select committee deliberations.
However there is a members’ bill on a similar issue, so I presume that bill will now be dropped, in exchange for the changes to this bill.