ON AIR: Andrew Dickens Afternoons

12p.m. - 4p.m.

Hawkesby: Completely unacceptable to give child sex offender real estate license

Author
Kate Hawkesby ,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 5 March 2019, 6:47a.m.
The Associate Minister of Justice is apparently looking into how a convicted child sex offender, got issued a real estate licence. Photo / Getty Images
The Associate Minister of Justice is apparently looking into how a convicted child sex offender, got issued a real estate licence. Photo / Getty Images

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".

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.

"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.

How to get help

If you're in danger now:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay.

Where to go for help or more information:

• NZ Police
• The Harbour, for those affected by harmful sexual behaviour
• Help Auckland 24/7 helpline 09 623 1700
• Rape Prevention Education
• Wellington Help 24/7 crisisline 04 801 6655, push 0
• Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz

ON AIR: Andrew Dickens Afternoons

12p.m. - 4p.m.