Viewport width =
September 11, 2017 | by  | in News |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Prisoner Voting Rights Debate and Panel at Wikitoria

On August 17, JustSpeak hosted a debate and panel in Victoria’s Memorial Theatre to discuss the voting rights of prisoners in Aotearoa. The panel included Green Party Candidate Chlöe Swarbrick, Mara Davis (Young Labour), Danny Poa (Restorative Justice Facilitator), Elijah Pue (Young Māori Party), Jack Gradwell (Young New Zealand First), and Laura O’Connell-Rapira (ActionStation).

The debate included DebSoc debaters and Wellington Improv and Comedy players Jennifer Alice, Matt Powell, and Janaye Henry. Henry stated “the Bill of Rights Act states all New Zealand citizens should have the right to vote,” and that therefore she couldn’t understand why prisoners had this right revoked from them.

According to Statistics New Zealand, over 51% of total prisoner population were Māori in 2012, which is just over 0.6% of the entire Māori population in New Zealand. As the statistics suggest, Māori are overrepresented in prison populations, and significantly underrepresented in general voting turnout. It can be said, then, that prisoner voting rights are not only a social justice issue, but a uniquely Māori issue.

JustSpeak is a group of young people who aim to promote and encourage conversation about the need for change in Aotearoa’s Criminal Justice System. With the impending election in September conversation around the voting rights of imprisoned New Zealanders is more prevalent than ever.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent posts

  1. There’s a New Editor
  2. An (im)possible dream: Living Wage for Vic Books
  3. Salient and VUW tussle over Official Information Act requests
  4. One Ocean
  5. Orphanage voluntourism a harmful exercise
  6. Interview with Grayson Gilmour
  7. Political Round Up
  8. A Town Like Alice — Nevil Shute
  9. Presidential Address
  10. Do You Ever Feel Like a Plastic Bag?

Editor's Pick

In Which a Boy Leaves

: - SPONSORED - I’ve always been a fairly lucky kid. I essentially lucked out at birth, being born white, male, heterosexual, to a well off family. My life was never going to be particularly hard. And so my tale begins, with another stroke of sheer luck. After my girlfriend sugge