8 Feb 2010

Minister seeks advice on tougher knife-carrying laws

7:29 pm on 8 February 2010

Recent comments by senior judges have prompted the Justice Minister to seek advice on whether the laws on the possession of knives need changing.

Last week a High Court judge, Justice Asher, sentencing two men for the fatal stabbing of Auckland man Daryl Graydon, said it might be time for Parliament to look at strengthening the law that makes it an offence to carry a knife without a reasonable excuse.

The Principal Youth Court Judge, Andrew Becroft, has also voiced concern about an increase in knife assaults over the past decade.

Currently two different acts deal with carrying knives in a public place, with penalties including up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $2000.

Justice Minister Simon Power says he has asked officials to look at the relevant legislation, and once that's done, he'll consider it should be tougher. But he wants to make sure, he says, that the law sends a message to young people that it's totally unacceptable to carry knives in public places.