Labour votes against law to notify schools of sex offenders

Labour has failed to ease the minds of parents across the country as it voted down a law change that would have required the Department of Corrections to notify schools of sex offenders placed in their communities, MP for Waimakariri Matt Doocey says.

“Too many times we have heard Corrections has released sex offenders into areas close to schools and vulnerable children without those schools being informed of this placement.

“My proposed law change would have made sure that when a sex offender is placed in a community the principals of the local schools would be notified. Schools would have then been able to make informed decisions about the risk of this placement.

“I accept that some sex offenders will need to be managed in the community and that they will likely end up in areas that are close to schools.

“But as a parent its outrageous local schools are not informed. If schools are aware of these situations then they can make informed decisions about what’s best for their students. Most parents expect this.

“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.

“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 daycare and near a playground.

“Had Labour voted for this legislation this would not have been allowed to happen.

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

You can sign my petition to support this legislation here.