Two new measures that allow New Zealand's most high-risk criminals to be closely monitored or kept within prison grounds for the rest of their lives have been passed into law with widespread support.
Parliament last night completed the final stages of two pieces of legislation that would bring into force new powers known as Extended Supervision Orders and Public Protection Orders.
Extended supervision orders were issued by a court and allowed the parole board to set special conditions such as GPS monitoring for serious offenders once they were released into the community.
These orders could now be applied to all sexual offenders and very high-risk violent criminals, and no longer had a 10-year expiry date.
The law change bringing extended supervision orders into force was unanimously backed by Parliament.
Public protection orders were supported by all parties except the Greens.
The orders would apply to a very small group of people - ten to 15 individuals - who were sentenced before preventive detention was introduced in New Zealand.
Authorities could now recall a person to prison once their sentence was finished if they were at a very high risk of reoffending.
Individuals who were subject to a public protection order were required to live in a secure property on prison grounds that was separate from the main buildings.
Justice Minister Amy Adams said: "Despite serving prison terms, some dangerous offenders may reoffend once they have been released. These new measures will allow authorities to more effectively deal with those who pose a serious threat to the community."
The Green Party opposed public protection orders on the grounds that they were "excessive" and "unwarranted".
Justice spokesman David Clendon said: "We think it ignores other options that could achieve the same ends of enhancing community safety without compromising our commitment to human rights."
Parliament was advised by the Attorney General that public protection orders were inconsistent with the Bill of Rights because they effectively punished a person twice for the same crime.
Extended supervision orders
Can be issued by the courts if a child sex offender is still deemed high-risk at the end of their sentence. Parole Board sets special conditions such as GPS monitoring for up to 10 years. Applied to 225 ex-prisoners, including child rapist Lloyd McIntosh. Can now be applied to a broader group of offenders for an indefinite period.
For: National, Labour, New Zealand First, Maori Party, Act, United Future, Greens
Public protection orders
Allows authorities to recall a person to prison once their sentence is finished if they are at very high risk of reoffending. Designed to capture a dozen offenders who were sentenced before preventive detention was introduced, including "Beast of Blenheim" Stewart Murray Wilson.
For: National, Labour, New Zealand First, Maori Party, Act, United Future