On prisoners losing the vote Parliament can override Bill of Rights Act - Simon Bridges

Peter Williams 25/11/2019

National Party leader and leader of the opposition Simon Bridges made the comments in an interview on Magic Mornings with Peter WIlliams.

Peter begins the interview on the issue of prisoners voting, with National strongly criticising the decision to restore voting rights to prisoners who serve less than three year terms in prison.

Bridges described his opposition to the new law as a “principled decision”, 

When you go to jail you do lose certain rights and privileges while you’re there.

Bridges goes on to say while in prison they should lose the right to vote, which is restored when they are released from prison.

Williams raises the issue that the Supreme Court ruled that prisoners losing the vote goes against the Bill of Rights, but Bridges disputes the claim saying the Act specifically allows Parliament to override it.

"Parliament passed the Bill of Rights Act, we made it quite clear in [the Act] that Parliament could override it and the rights that are contained in it, but that the courts have the ability to make a declaration of inconsistency," he says.

Peter then moves the interview to a recent YouGov survey published on Stuff that found favourable results for Labour over National with New Zealand First and the Green Party both receiving eight percent.

Bridges claims the poll are inaccurate and fail to capture New Zealand correctly, attacking the methodology having been conducted online.

These numbers are dramatically different from any other public poll, and they’re wrong.

Williams then questions Simon over the decision to run a 17 year old in Palmerston North, William Wood will turn 18 by the expected time of the next general election.

But Williams believes his youth means he will not have had enough life experience to effectively represent the electorate.

Simon disagrees saying this was “local democracy at play," he highlights that Wood won the nomination from local National Party members who vote for their nomination themselves, beating out two older candidates.

You can listen to the full interview above.