Government law and order crackdown begins

The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say. 

“In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports has turned into a cottage industry costing taxpayers millions and doing nothing for the victims of crime,” Mr Goldsmith says. 

“$40,000 was spent on Section 27 reports in 2017. In the last financial year, this had increased to more than $7 million. If National hadn’t raised this issue costs would have kept on growing.

“These reports have also led to further discounts at sentencing. The Government has wider concerns around massive reductions to sentences and will be introducing legislation to cap discounts at 40 per cent.

“That is why, as part of National and ACT’s coalition agreement, the Government will introduce a Bill during the next parliamentary session to amend the Legal Services Act 2011 to exclude Section 27 from the legal aid scheme,” says Mr Goldsmith. 

Minister of Corrections Mark Mitchell also confirmed that the Government has scrapped the previous Labour government’s target of reducing the prison population by 30 per cent. 

“All New Zealanders would like to see fewer people in prison, but only if there is a drop in serious offending,” says Mr Mitchell. 

“Sadly, under the previous Labour government’s soft-on-crime policies, we have seen a 33 per cent increase in violent crime. 

“This Government is determined to put public safety back at the heart of the criminal justice system. 

“That means ensuring there are real consequences for crime, keeping serious violent offenders from creating more victims. 

“The inclusion of these actions in the coalition Government’s 100-day plan shows that it is serious about restoring law and order in New Zealand and ensuring that victims are prioritised ahead of offenders.”