“The Justice Minister’s comment that ACT’s three strikes law is akin to ‘fascism’ shows Labour is soft on crime”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.
“ACT’s three strikes law, introduced in 2010, progressively increases the consequences for recidivist violent and sexual offenders.
“The law is working as intended. In August last year, the first ‘third striker’ was ordered to serve the maximum sentence without parole.
“Hayze Waitokia had 14 previous convictions, including six for violent offending. Waitokia’s three strikes included a vicious assault using a piece of wood, stalking and sexually assaulting a 17 year-old girl, and stabbing another man.
“Very few people would believe that giving this person the maximum sentence without parole is ‘fascism’. Waitokia was at high-risk of reoffending and the public needed to be protected from him. Prior to 2010, he would have received a jail sentence of two years and three months. ACT’s three strikes law meant he will have to serve the full seven year sentence.
“The Justice Minister should ask whether he wants violent people like Waitokia churning through the justice system, creating an endless string of victims.
“The Government’s primary duty is to protect people from physical harm. But Labour’s plan to get rid of ACT’s three strikes law would let some of the worst criminals in New Zealand out onto the streets. The Government must put the interests of the community ahead of the interests of violent offenders.
“ACT believes the worst recidivist offenders should be held responsible for their actions and be kept away from the public.”