Has law and order gone too far? Are there too many in prison? Should we punish or rehabilitate criminals?

In this Local Focus video, three Rotorua candidates answer these questions, with quite differing responses.

Human rights lawyer and Labour candidate Claire Mahon is firmly in favour of rehabilitation.

"I think it's more, have we gone too far in terms of the discriminatory way in which our justice system means that people are more likely to be jailed if they are Māori or other minorities?" she said.


"This aspect needs to be addressed."

Meanwhile, National MP and Rotorua candidate Todd McClay said we haven't gone too far.

"It's actually not easy to be sent to prison in New Zealand. You have to commit a significant crime," he said.

"But for every person found guilty of committing a crime there are many, many more victims out there."

NZ First's Fletcher Tabuteau has a foot in each camp. He pointed to NZ First's punitive measures such as the "King-hit legislation" and mandatory sentences for assaults on first responders, while also wanting to rehabilitate offenders.

"The problem right now is most of our prison population are either illiterate, have learning problems, or don't have their driver's licence.

"And it becomes a nasty kind of cycle of crime for those people. So we have to break that."

Also standing in the Rotorua electorate:
• Kaya Sparke for the Greens.
• Pete Kirkwood for ACT.
• Alan Tāne Solomon for the New Conservatives.
• Karri-Ann Vercoe-Black for One party.


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