Tougher sentences are on the way for criminals who cook up
methamphetamine in homes where children are present.
NZ First MP Asenati Lole-Taylor's member's bill which would
make criminal activity in the presence of a minor an
aggravating factor during sentencing passed its first reading
in Parliament yesterday with unanimous support.
The bill notes criminal offending by adults often exposes
minors to serious harm.
"A primary example of such offending is the production of
drugs, particularly methamphetamine. Production of these
substances is regularly conducted in residential buildings,
putting the lives and health of resident children at risk of
poisoning and burns resulting from the highly dangerous and
unstable chemicals used in such production.
"Minors are often innocent parties to criminal offending by
adults, and deserve protection from adult offending that puts
them at risk of harm."
Mrs Lole-Taylor said the figures around the issue were
"staggering" with 460 children found at crime scenes between
"What is more disturbing is that children were present in 37
per cent of P-Labs and 73 per cent of drug houses."
"We cannot sit idly by and allow more children to be exposed
to crime - and the time has come for people who commit crime
in the presence of minors to pay for it come sentencing day."
The legislation is now being considered by Parliament's law
and order committee.
"I encourage New Zealanders to have their say on this Bill
during the Select Committee process", Mrs Lole-Taylor said.
- Adam Bennett of the NZ Herald