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Last night’s incident where a laser was pointed at a plane flying into Christchurch shows the current law is not strong enough, Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says.

“My High-Power Laser Pointer Offences and Penalties Bill will not only deter offenders but also raises awareness about an issue which poses a great risk to pilots and passengers.

“The Bill proposes to double the maximum fine to $4000 and double the term of imprisonment from three to six months. It will also make it an offence to have a high-power laser in possession in both public and private places.

“Pilots have been calling out for harsher penalties but this soft on crime Government seems content putting lives at risk rather than supporting my Members Bill.

“Laser incidents have increased 130 per cent in the past four years, and last night’s incident provides a further example as to how much the law needs to change.

“This is the second incident in three months, as a man awaits sentencing in Southland for pointing a laser at a rescue helicopter.

“It’s time the Government stopped putting politics before safety and supported my Bill.”

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