Stay of proceedings in High Court ‘501’ ruling welcomed


Justice Minister Kiri Allan has welcomed the decision by the High Court to issue a stay of proceedings following the ‘501’ ruling.

Crown Law, the Ministry of Justice - Te Tāhū o te Ture, Police and the Department of Corrections - Ara Poutama Aotearoa have been working closely to address the legal and operational implications for the management of the returning offenders regime, following Tuesday’s decision in the High Court.

“The legislation, which was passed in 2015, allows for the monitoring and supporting of people who have been deported, some directly from prison. It allows police and Corrections to effectively manage the potential risk they may pose,” Kiri Allan said. 

“Yesterday the Crown Law Office sought a stay in proceedings, as part of the Government’s efforts to ensure Police and Corrections have the appropriate powers needed to manage 501s living in New Zealand and arriving in the country, until a longer term solution is found. The application was subsequently approved. 

“The court’s judgment would require significant changes to current procedures which are designed to ensure public safety. Given the proximity to Christmas and the fact that Parliament has risen, the stay will help Government ensure there are no unintended effects from the decision, especially when it comes to the safety of our communities.

“The Government will now take immediate action to ensure legislation can be introduced when Parliament next sits, so the law has a retrospective effect. I will be seeking support from parties across the House on this,” Kiri Allan said. 

Crown Law has also filed an appeal against this week’s High Court decision, with the matter to be heard in the Court of Appeal in February.