Winston Peters wants 'cowards' who throw sucker punches locked up

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 7 Oct 2020, 11:36AM
Photo / File
Photo / File

Winston Peters wants 'cowards' who throw sucker punches locked up

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 7 Oct 2020, 11:36AM

New Zealand First is promising that introducing a "coward Punch" law will be a major priority in any post-election deals with other political parties.

And, speaking to Newstalk ZB this morning, NZ First leader Winston Peters revealed that he thought it is much more likely that Labour will be able to form a Government after the election than National.

"I can see the outcome of this election at the moment – the National Party and the Act Party are miles away from being able to make it; it's simple mathematics."

His comments came before he unveiled his party's law and order policy, where Peters said his party's policy would put victims first.

NZ First would push for the training of 1000 new cops and for a law which aims to protect first responders from assaults while on the job.

The last policy is one NZ First tried to get through in the previous term of Government but – despite being introduced in early 2018 – it is still languishing in a select committee and is nowhere near becoming law.

"Creating 'safer Kiwi communities' can only occur with robust and balanced justice and corrections systems," Peters told media today.

He made the announcement in front of a central Auckland Police station.

"These policies announced today will go a long way to ensuring the fundamental focus of our justice and corrections systems is the ultimate safety and protection of our communities."

The policy to recruit a further 1000 new frontline police officers was released in NZ First's policy manifesto last week.

But today was the first time Peters has spoken about his party's plans to introduce a "Coward Punch" law – a piece of legislation which he said would reduce "gutless acts of violence".

A coward punch, according to Peters, is when someone is blindsided with a blow usually from behind – also called a "sucker punch".

He said there was an "alarming" number of these types of punches being thrown.
"[The law] would ensure harsher penalties for those who are found guilty of the offence."

This includes a mandatory six months in prison for anyone who throws a coward's punch and causes injury and a mandatory eight-year jail sentence for anyone who kills someone using this method of assault.

Peters also wants to introduce what he has called a "degrees of murder legislation," whereby those who commit the most violent and premeditated crimes would face harsher sentences.

"The highest degree of murder will carry a minimum sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole."

The only person in New Zealand's legal history to receive a life sentence with no parole is convicted mass murderer and terrorist, Brenton Tarrant – who murdered 51 people on March 15, 2019.

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