Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar is not resiling from his praise of police after a fatal shooting of an Auckland man last week, and has welcomed scrutiny of the status of two charitable trusts operating under the Sensible Sentencing banner.
On March 31, a 29-year-old east Auckland man was fatally shot by police after coming towards officers with a machete.
He was shot after a police chase on State Highway 1 near Pohuehue.
The next day McVicar posted his thoughts about the matter to his Facebook page.
"One less to clog the prisons! Congratulations to the New Zealand Police, our thoughts are with the officer who was forced to take this action to protect the public," his post said.
His words drew more criticism than praise from commentators, with people saying there was no cause to rejoice at the death and that his comment was inappropriate.
Yesterday, however, McVicar said most of the cases the trust dealt with where a machete was taken to a gathering saw someone end up dead, the victim normally a woman.
"My comments were initially around being pleased that we weren't dealing with what has become the norm in New Zealand - a dead victim."
He said the man who was shot had been given the normal warnings and by ignoring them and threatening officers there was always the possibility that he was going to die.
"We are lucky we are not dealing with a dead woman or a dead police officer."
Meanwhile, his post also prompted ActionStation to launch a petition calling on the Independent Charities Registration Board to reassess the status of the two Sensible Sentencing trusts.
McVicar founded the Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) in 2001 to advocate on behalf of victims of serious violent and/or sexual crime and homicide, with a view to ensuring sentencing and penal policies were created to reduce re-offending.
Its non-charitable political advocacy aims meant it was ineligible to be registered as a charity.
In 2015, the Sensible Sentencing Group Trust (SSGT) was formed to support victims of serious violent and/or sexual crime and homicide, with no political aims.
The ActionStation petition had amassed 1085 signatures as of yesterday, and called on the Independent Charities Registration Board to reassess the SSGT's charitable status and independently investigate the links it had with the SST in terms of funding and resource sharing for the purposes of non-charitable political lobbying.
"Given the Independent Charities Registration Board's recent decision to deny Greenpeace charitable status because of their 'independent purpose to promote its own particular views', it seems correct to independently reassess whether the activities of SSGT are in fact charitable," the petition said.
ActionStation director of campaigns Laura Rapira said she started the petition because she believed a more encompassing justice system that focused on prevention, restoration and rehabilitation was needed.
"I have been frustrated at the amount of media attention Mr McVicar has got for his ideological stance on justice."
She said the SSGT should have issued an apology for his comments.
"The family members of the man who was shot are also victims, I wanted to send a message that these kind of words are not okay."
McVicar, who was the spokesman for SST, said the petition organisers and signatories were entitled to their opinion.
"They have long been opposed to SST so I am not surprised."
He said when SSGT was being set up, there were full discussions with the Charities Commission to go over how it should happen.
Since then the books had been audited every year and there had been no complaints, he said.
"Everything we do has to be open to public scrutiny, and anybody can apply to get information."
Rapira said the petition was closed off yesterday.