A return to human rights

On Saturday, the government announced that they will be giving the right to vote to some prisoners, reversing the 2010 ban.

This is an excellent move. The Supreme Court ruled that ban violated NZ’s bill of rights, and the Waitangi Tribunal also has stated that the ban breaches the Treaty Of Waitangi.

Not to mention that the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to take part in free and fair elections.

Voting is also something that’s done outside of prison, so it can hence be part of rehabilitation to normal society – albeit a very small part.

Sadly, however, the ban is not lifted on all prisoners – just those that have committed offences resulting in a sentence less than three years. So this doesn’t go far enough. The next step needs to be giving all prisoners the right to vote.

However, it is a start. Good on the government.


  1. Raoul

    It is, as you say, a good beginning. I have been disappointed in the unthinking response of the National Party leadership. The promise to reinstall the ban if and when National regains power does them no credit.

  2. Mike Mckee

    I disagree.
    It does them (National) all credit, as they show common sense that others are lacking.
    The offenders ignore and violate their victims human rights.
    As such they are taken out of society and lose their liberty.
    They shouldn’t vote until they have done their time and are readmitted into society again.
    Why should offenders vote, they don’t honour the laws that make up society, nor do they honour others human rights.


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