3News 15 Sep 2011
The penalty for ill-treating or neglecting a child has been increased from five years to 10 years imprisonment under a bill passed by Parliament. The Crimes Amendment Bill (No 2) also creates a new offence of failing to take reasonable steps to protect a child or vulnerable adult from the risk of death, grievous bodily harm or sexual assault. The new offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.
“New Zealand has a shameful history of child abuse and this bill will make an example of adults who put their interests before those of vulnerable children around them,” says Justice Minister Simon Power. The bill also amends the Crimes Act to increase penalties for possession of an offensive weapon. Parliament voted 109-11 to pass it. The Green Party, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira and independent Chris Carter opposed it.