Losing the right to vote is a consequence of serious offending and National will oppose any law that changes this, National’s Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell says.
“Labour, the Greens and NZ First have just introduced a Bill that will allow prisoners to vote. It’s clear they want to ram this through before the election.
“National strongly opposes allowing prisoners to vote. It’s difficult to be sentenced to prison and you have to have committed serious crimes to get there.
“Prisoners who have received sentences of up to three years aren’t petty criminals. They are people who have committed serious assaults, robberies, family violence and sexual offences.
“Losing the right to vote is consistent with the loss of other freedoms when going to prison. Once offenders come out of prison and have re-joined society then they will have the right to vote returned to them.
“It is apparent this soft on crime Government is putting offenders’ rights ahead of victims. Just yesterday a man was released from prison on bail because he was on a hunger strike. In another absurd move, Corrections has also taken to renaming prisoners ‘men in our care’ or ‘clients’.
“Going to prison is a punishment and should be treated as such.
“It’s becoming obvious at the election this year that there is a stark difference between a Labour, Greens, NZ First soft on crime Government that is clearly on the side of offenders, and a National Government that is tough on crime and puts victims at the heart of our justice system.”