A private members bill aimed at stopping prisoners contacting victims has been introduced by National MP Louise Upston.

The Corrections (Victim Protection) Amendment Bill would force prison managers to protect crime victims and people who are subjects of a protection order from contact from prisoners.

Upston said most New Zealanders would think it was already a law, but there was a significant gap in the legislation.

"A recent case highlighted in the media exposed the fact a prisoner contacted his victim 93 times to get her to change her story.


"Last year a paedophile wrote to his victim, now in her 20s, from prison.

"The woman said it made her feel 'unsafe' and 'dirty'."

Upston said it was sickening that the prisoner had been able to contact the victim, who would have been traumatised.

"These kinds of contacts from prisoners are unacceptable."

Upston said that in a lot of the cases the prisoner was contacting the victim in a bid to try to get them to change their story.

In one case a prisoner had organised for another person to stalk a victim for them.

Victims should be able to feel "absolutely safe" when their offenders were in prison, she said.

Upston did not expect any opposition to her bill.

"It's a no-brainer."

Victim advocate Ruth Money said that when victims were first contacted by prisoners they were often shocked then scared.

"Quite honestly, everybody was always shocked to learn this was possible," she said.

"You assume that as part of the sentence the communication with the victim or victim's family would be blocked out.

"It's beyond belief that this detail hasn't been tidied up before this bill."

Money said she was disappointed that it needed legislation because it was common sense that the communication should not be happening.

But Money said she commended Upston for taking it up.

"I'm really happy someone had picked up on this.

"The devil is in the details."