Key Points:

A bill proposing to reduce parole eligibility for repeat violent offenders is not certain to pass into law despite being introduced into Parliament by the Government.

The Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill, which includes the Act Party's "three strikes" policy, was last night sent to select committee for consideration.

Justice Minister Simon Power said offenders sentenced to five years or more for a violent or sex offence would not be eligible for parole if they had previously received a sentence of five years or more.

"If they are convicted or murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, they will serve the sentence in full and will not be eligible for parole," he said.

Act's "three strikes" means an automatic life sentence with no parole on conviction for a third serious offence if the offender has previously been sentenced to two five year terms.

The bill also includes National's proposals to tighten up parole conditions.

Mr Power said the inclusion of Act's `three strikes' policy was part of the confidence and supply agreement between the two parties.

Future support for the bill would be dependent on submissions on the bill and how National MPs felt about the bill following the select committee process.

Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party all opposed the bill.

Law and order spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said it was a fraud because the "three strikes" would not affect anyone for at least 15 years.

Similar laws overseas have been criticised or repealed after some people were sentenced to very long jail sentences for relatively minor third offences

Act's justice spokesman David Garrett said those who criticised the bill because of experience overseas had not read Act's proposed version.

Mr Garrett said it was drafted in such a way to ensure that only repeat offending "scumbags" would be caught up by its provisions.

- NZPA