Weekend Sun column

Friday, September 25, 2015

On 20 September 2014, National was re-elected for a third term with an increased share of the vote. Last week I gave a speech in Parliament highlighting what we have achieved one year on; such as free doctor’s visits for under-13s, extended paid-parental leave, and the first increase to benefits in nearly 40 years. We have done all of this and so much more while continuing to provide strong and stable leadership.

We are continuing to focus on the things that matter to New Zealanders and their families. Another example of this was the introduction of legislation last week to establish a Child Sex Offender Register. National believes that you and your family have the right to feel safe in your own home and in public, and that we have a responsibility as the Government to do everything we can to reduce crime and protect you from harm.

It is a reality that after serving their sentence, offenders will be released and return to the community. The Child Sex Offenders Register will mean that Police and Corrections will be better able to identify and monitor these people. They will be required to supply up-to-date personal information to the authorities so they can keep track of them and manage any potential risks to public safety. There will be better information sharing between agencies and the ability to identify where support is needed to reduce the chances of reoffending.

This is something we want to see implemented as soon as possible. The Register will be operational by July 2016. Child sex abuse causes devastating and long-lasting harm to children and to their families. We are committed to doing everything we can to prevent it.