Faafoi breaks Three Strikes promise

Thu, 02 Dec, 2021

Kris Faafoi wants to revictimise those who have suffered at the hands of New Zealand’s worst violent and sexual offenders,” says ACT’s Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“The Justice Minister wrote to the Select Committee overseeing the Three Strikes repeal asking it to examine whether people already sentenced under Three Strikes should have their sentences reevaluated. 

“These people were sentenced under the law at the time of their offence, now Faafoi wants to re-sentence them under a different law. When he announced his intention to repeal Three Strikes he said it would not be retrospective.

“He said in Parliament at First Reading “We acknowledge that there are victims in this and there will be no revictimisation of those people during this process, because there is no retrospective aspect of this Bill.

“But in a letter to the Select Committee he said, “Cabinet considered how the Bill should respond to those who have already been sentenced under the law.”

“Faafoi acknowledged in Parliament that re-sentencing these offenders would revictimise people. It is frankly appalling that he and his Cabinet colleagues, who claim they are the Government of kindness, would do this to victims.

“In answer to Written Parliamentary Questions from the ACT Party about whether the Government consulted with victims before it announced it would repeal the legislation Faafoi said, “given the Bill is not currently retrospective, so does not allow for re-sentencing, directly contacting victims was not appropriate.”

“Faafoi didn’t bother to even consult victims – and now he wants to repeal the sentences of the people who carried out serious violent offences against them.

“Three Strikes offenders make up just one per cent of all convictions, they have an average of 75 convictions, they are the worst and most violent offenders New Zealand has seen. They aren’t behind bars for petty theft or minor crimes. They have beaten, raped and murdered people.

“Faafoi needs to stick to his word that he won’t retraumatise victims. This law should not be retrospective, and ACT will continue to fight that every step of the way.”

Parliamentary Written Question: 

Reply 52344 (2021) has been answered 
Portfolio: Justice (Hon Kris Faafoi) 
Question: On what dates did the Minister consult the Chief Victims Advisor on the proposed repeal of the Three Strikes Law and what was the advice provided to him by the Chief Victims Advisor? 
Reply: I meet with the Chief Victims Advisor on a relatively regular basis where a number of issues are canvassed. Ministry officials met with the Chief Victims Advisor on the 19th of May to discuss the potential impact on victims should the legislation allow resentencing. The Chief Victims Advisor discussed the importance of working closely with their office and our Court Victims Advisors on any direct contact with victims. The advice was reflected in Ministry official’s advice to government. However, given the bill is not currently retrospective, so does not allow for resentencing, directly contacting victims was not appropriate.