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The Government’s hapless handling of its ‘justice reforms’ has continued, with incoming Prime Minister Winston Peters now saying Three Strikes might still be axed, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says.

“Just two weeks ago, Justice Minister Andrew Little said Three Strikes was going and he had the full support of Labour’s Coalition partners to axe it. Then in an embarrassing back down yesterday he said it wasn’t happening because he’d spoken out of turn.

“Then when it looked like it couldn’t get any messier, this morning the Prime Minister said in one media interview it wasn’t happening only for Mr Little to say in the next that no, it still might be - in spite of NZ First saying it was off the table.

“That might have been the end of it, and if the Government took the safety of New Zealanders seriously it would be. But in Parliament this afternoon Mr Peters changed his mind and said the policy is in fact still up for future consideration.

“He went on to admit that decisions like repealing (or not repealing) Three Strikes and banning oil and gas exploration were typical of this Government – decisions made on the fly, without expert advice or consultation.

“Well that’s hugely worrying because this is not how you should make decisions which affect peoples’ lives.

“What an incompetent shambles.

“With confirmation from the incoming Prime Minister that Three Strikes is back on the table, we can be sure this Government will be moving towards loosening up our bail, sentencing and parole laws too.

“That’s going to make New Zealanders less safe. It’s clear that despite the previous rhetoric from NZ First, only National will be tough on crime and put victims first.”

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