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Submissions on Bill to prevent child sex offender name changes open

December 17, 2015 at 9:06 AM

Submissions on Bill to prevent child sex offender name changes open

*From the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse*

The Government is inviting public submissions on a Bill which seeks to prevent child sex offenders from changing their name. Submissions close on 3 February 2015.

The Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration (Preventing Name Change by Child Sex Offenders) Amendment Billwas introduced to Parliament on 15 October 2015. It is a Private Member's Bill brought by National Party MP Dr Jian Yang. The Bill passed its first reading on 2 December 2015. The Bill aims to "protect vulnerable members of society from child sex offenders by preventing those individuals convicted of a child sex offence from changing their name."

The Bill has been criticised by the New Zealand Law Society Attorney General Chris Finlayson who said the proposed Bill limits the right to freedom of expression. 

The Select Committee's report is due on 2 June 2016.

A select committee is also currently considering submissions on the proposal to establish achild sex offender register. The committee is due to report back on 15 March 2016.