COMMENT:

How would you like to have your family home marketed by a convicted child sex offender?

I ask not in jest but in all seriousness - because unfortunately it's an actual possibility.

Associate Justice Minister Aupito William Sio says he's "concerned that a convicted child sex offender was able to obtain a real estate licence".

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He's concerned? I'd say so are most of the rest of us.

This man, currently in possession of a real estate licence, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year old-boy while he was an Uber driver, back in 2016. The child was his passenger.

He got two months community detention and 12 months supervision.

And the kicker? A real estate licence.

So abuse a child, do some home detention, then move on a couple of years later to popping up flags and running a few open homes.

How on earth does that work? How is it even possible?

At what point in this entire sorry saga, did anyone consider the feelings of the victim and his family? At what point did anyone wonder about the safety or otherwise of future children in the proximity of this man?

You may well be wondering how low the bar is set to be a real estate agent in this country.

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"A conviction for a 'crime of dishonesty'", according to the Herald's report, "automatically rules a person out from holding a licence."

But (and here's the big but) other convictions are considered on a case by case basis.

So we are led to believe that the Real Estate Authority looked at this abuser's case and decided all was well, and they'd issue him a real estate licence, no worries?

In fact it's not what we're led to believe, it's the facts. It's what happened. They looked at his case, weighed it up, and issued the licence.

The Real Estate Authority, in all of its wisdom (which we can now rightly question), awarded a licence to sell people's homes to a convicted child sex offender.
It beggars belief.

Let's hope the Ministry of Justice does more than just look at this, let's hope a message gets sent to the REA that making child sex offenders real estate agents is completely unacceptable.