What happened to Mike Sabin’s bill?

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, October 10th, 2015 - 22 comments
Categories: national, same old national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

John Key Mike Sabin

In March of this year National recycled a private member’s bill that Mike Sabin originally championed.  The bill if enacted would have permitted a Judge to draw an adverse inference from a defendant facing child sex abuse charges exercising the right to silence.

The bill was in the list of private members bills released on March 19, 2015.  It had been in previous lists released in 2013 and 2014.  But I have checked subsequent bills ballot lists and it has disappeared.  It was not in any of the subsequent five lists including the latest list posted in September.

There are other scary sounding bills such as

  • the Social Security (Stopping Benefit Payments for Offenders who Repeatedly Fail to Comply with Community Sentences) Amendment Bill
  • the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration (Preventing Name Change by Child Sex Offenders) Amendment Bill
  • the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Parent’s and Guardian’s Responsibility) Amendment Bill

Obviously these bills are designed to feed raw meat to National’s base.  Clearly government backbenchers spend their time working out how to attack and marginalise poor people for political advantage.

I am pleased however that Sabin’s bill has been dropped.  It was the worst sort of proposal.  It lacked principle and was a crude attempt to engender red neck political support to solve a non existent problem.  The fact the Government was not prepared to put it up as a Government bill shows how bad it was.

But the timing is interesting and I would like to claim a little bit of credit for this occurrence. My post of March 20, 2015 must have caused National to rethink its support for the bill.  Maybe the strength of the argument made National realize it should ditch the bill …

22 comments on “What happened to Mike Sabin’s bill?”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I’d pretty much forgotten about the “prominent New Zealander”. Thanks for the reminder.

    Anyone know when their trial is set for? I believe it’s Feb-March next year.

    I bet Steven Joyce knows when it is.

    • Paul 1.1

      I imagine that at about that time we’ll be bringing some pandas to New Zealand.

      • mary_a 1.1.1

        @ Paul (1.1) Spot on there.

        Early to mid 2016 …

        – flag issue will be out of the way

        – “prominent NZer” will appear in court in April

        – and then hey Bingo, the cute cuddly Pandas will become the hot topic of discussion!

        FJK is laying the foundations for it now.

  2. wyndham 2

    Has this bill been buried as part of the apparent burying of the trial of a “prominent New Zealander” ?

  3. weka 3

    I’m a little unclear from following the links. Is the change to the right to silence across the board or just for child sex offences?

  4. tc 4

    Sunlight on the prominent new zealander please opposition.

    When does the suppression order recycle ?

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      I believe suppression continues until the trial. Unsure if that means when the trial is underway that some or all things may be reported, or if we’ll have to wait to the end of it – and if the outcome is ‘not-guilty’ we potentially may not be told anything.

  5. Aaron 5

    There’s a point I’d like to make about irony but I think the moderator would probably have to ban the comment…

  6. Rosemary McDonald 6

    “….scary sounding bills….designed to feed raw meat… working out how to attack and marginalise poor people for political advantage.”


    I remember when this Bill was proposed…I personally saw it as a good idea that should get cross party support.

    I still do.

    Forgive me if I am showing my ignorance but how is it a bad thing that child sex offenders should not be allowed to hide their identity, therefore enabling them to fly and predate below the radar?

    Surely, formulation of any legislation that is designed to protect vulnerable children from sexual predators should transcend party political dogma?

    Mike Sabin…what can one say? Obviously enjoys a level of protection due to his affiliations, can’t see the wider community being appraised of the actual facts of this case. The gossip mill on the other hand….unless the truth is worse than what is speculated…it might pay for his defense team to come clean.

    • mickysavage 6.1

      If it is a good idea then they should include it into a more comprehensive review of the Act. Instead of this they allow this micro bill to go up which effects very little change but gives them the chance to sound like they are tough on crime.

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.1

        A more comprehensive review of the Act would take time.

        Time that would and will be exploited by those scumbags who prey on vulnerable children. And women.

        Having been adversely affected by knee jerk amendments to existing legislation I too am chary of such Bills.

        However…each Bill needs to be assessed on its merits.

        The rising tide of sexual offending needs to be quelled.

      • Smilin 6.1.2

        Yes in view of Sue Bradford’s original sledgehammer on the get out of jail sec 59 all the rest should follow,a comprehensive review

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Another example of good intentions not leading to effective reforms.

          The repeal of s 59 was never going to address the horrific rates of child abuse, neglect and murder in NZ.

          it did succeed in positively changing parenting for those who give a shit about the job…but nothing to keep children safe from those who don’t care.

          Again, the Bill was polarising…a shame, really a shame, because our children deserved better.

          Let’s think for a moment about all the children who have been beaten, sexually abused, neglected and murdered since the repeal of s 59.

          • JanM

            It did at least raise children to the same degree of legal protection as cats and dogs

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Yep…but it did squat to put kids on the same level as adults.

              Like all domestic violence…because it occurs within the family…somehow it is not as criminal as violence towards strangers.

              At the time of the s.59 furore, while I supported the spirit of the Bill, I felt the intent was not going to be achievable.

              My personal opinion is that sentencing for violent offences should be proportional to the difference between the size of the aggressor and the size of the victim.

              • Tracey

                it has removed a subjective defence to beating children which was “i thought it was reasonable disciplibe”. it was sending a message cos attitudes need to change. it was not ibtended as a panacea to child abuse. bradford and others had ideas on how to achieve more in this regard but sadly it takes money that some dontcwant spent.

  7. millsy 7

    Mike Sabin had another bill in the ballot allowing employers to confiscate their worker’s prescription medication.

  8. [Mike Sabin’s bill] …would have permitted a Judge to draw an adverse inference from a defendant facing child sex abuse charges exercising the right to silence.

    I can’t think of a response to this that wouldn’t open the blog up to defamation action, so no comment. But, seriously, you couldn’t make this shit up.

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