A bill which would allow judges to impose harsher penalties on people who commit crimes in front of children is one step closer to becoming law.
The member's bill, sponsored by New Zealand First MP Asenati Lole-Taylor, unanimously passed its first reading on Wednesday night.
The legislation would mean that, when sentencing a criminal, judges would have take into account whether any children were present.
Mrs Lole-Taylor says it has become too common for young children to be found living in homes where drugs are produced and sold.
She says the bill will send a clear message that criminals have no right to endanger innocent children.
The bill will now go before a select committee, before returning to Parliament for a second reading.