Group Criticizes Government’s Stance on Cultural Reports Before Sentencing

Batol Ahmad
Published 2 weeks ago on 8 February, 2024
Advocacy group slams Govt's call on pre-sentence cultural reports

An advocacy group has vehemently criticized the New Zealand Government’s latest decision regarding pre-sentence cultural reports. The “Advocacy group slams Govt’s call on pre-sentence cultural reports,” expressing outrage over the cessation of taxpayer funding for Section 27 reports, which detail an offender’s cultural background for judicial consideration during sentencing.

Key takeaways

  • Government ends funding for Section 27 pre-sentencing cultural reports.
  • Justice Minister cites rising costs and minimal benefits to victims.
  • Advocacy group claims the decision is racially biased and counterproductive.
  • Political parties divided, with National and ACT supporting the move, while Greens and Labour oppose.
The removal of funding for Section 27 reports is a contentious issue, with claims of fiscal responsibility clashing against concerns of justice equity and potential increases in reoffending rates.

Impact of Funding Cuts on Sentencing

The decision to cut funding for Section 27 reports has sparked a debate on its implications for the justice system. Advocacy group slams Govt’s call on pre-sentence cultural reports, arguing that the absence of these reports could lead to harsher and less informed sentences, particularly affecting Māori and lower-income individuals.

Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith defended the decision, highlighting the ballooning costs associated with the reports, which he claims do not serve the victims of crime effectively. The move is seen as a fulfillment of National’s campaign promise, with the support of ACT, which seeks to eliminate Section 27 entirely.

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Political Parties React to Funding Cut

Political reactions to the government’s decision are sharply divided. The Green Party criticizes the move, suggesting that it could increase future crime rates due to a lack of understanding of the underlying causes of criminal behavior. Advocacy group slams Govt’s call on pre-sentence cultural reports, with the Greens advocating for a more informed justice system.

Labour MP Ginny Andersen emphasizes the importance of Section 27 reports in preventing reoffending and upholding victims’ rights, countering the government’s stance. She warns that the removal of these reports could negatively impact New Zealand’s crime rates, referencing a recent spike in the homicide rate.

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Year Cost of Section 27 Reports
2017 $40,000
Last Financial Year Over $7 million

The “Advocacy group slams Govt’s call on pre-sentence cultural reports,” a move that has ignited a fiery debate across the political spectrum. With concerns about fiscal responsibility, racial equity, and the potential for increased reoffending, the decision to end funding for Section 27 reports remains a contentious topic in New Zealand’s ongoing conversation about justice and rehabilitation.


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