Labour, Greens under fire for voting down law to make notifying schools of nearby sex offenders mandatory

NewsHub 25 March 2021
Family First Comment: Last week the Greens voted against 600 sex offenders being put on a national register.
This week they voted against schools having to be notified about sex offenders living near a school.
Guess whose side they’re on? It’s not the side of families.
(Oh – they’ve got no problem with drug use tho 🙄)

Labour and the Greens are under fire for voting down a law that would make it mandatory to notify schools when there’s a sex offender nearby.

Informing schools when a sex offender is being placed in the community is not a new practice for Corrections. National MP Matt Doocey’s Member’s Bill sought to make it mandatory but it was voted down on Wednesday night.

“While Corrections does inform some schools when placing a sex offender in the community, it isn’t mandatory, and in developing this legislation I heard from a large number of principals who said they had never alerted to a sex offender being released near to their school,” Doocey said.

“In fact, Newtown Primary School principal Mark Brown found out through social media that a convicted paedophile at ‘high risk of reoffending’ had moved in up the road from his school, 100 metres from a day-care and near a playground.”

Doocey said his legislation was “sensible” and would go further to protect our vulnerable students and help ease the minds of parents across New Zealand, “but Labour voted against it”.

National MP Simeon Brown hit out at the Greens on Wednesday night after Green MP Golriz Ghahraman labelled the legislation “callous” for giving people the impression children would be safer because of the law change.

Paedophile near Wellington school leads to probation changes
Stuff 26 March 2021
A Corrections department error that allowed a high-risk paedophile to move into a Wellington neighbourhood with 62 children nearby and a school down the road has resulted in a list of changes including better checks of parole addresses.

But schools still won’t routinely be notified when paedophiles move into the neighbourhood after a members bill by National MP Matt Doocey – proposing that change – failed to pass a first reading in Parliament on Wednesday night.

Aaron Paul Laurence, who has since changed his surname to Castle, was jailed in 2012 after pleading guilty to 65 charges of abuse, including the rape of young boys and the production and distribution of footage of their ordeals. He was paroled in September 2020 to a house in Newtown, Wellington.

He was moved to an undisclosed industrial area after Stuff reported that there were 62 children in the immediate neighbourhood, and Newtown School was down the road.

The incident resulted in Corrections reviewing its processes.

That review was completed in early March and, after a request to see that review under the Official Information Act, Corrections on Thursday listed the changes it would make as a result of the review.