Government has no power to intervene in CTV prosecution decisions - Prime Minister

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met with the families of CTV victims that were killed when the building collapsed in 2011.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met with the families of CTV victims that were killed when the building collapsed in 2011. Photo credit: Getty

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has told the families of CTV victims that the Government doesn't have the power to intervene in prosecution decisions. 

Ms Ardern met with the families of loved ones who were killed when the building collapsed during the February 22, 2011 earthquake.

The families expressed their concerns over of the police decision not to prosecute the engineers responsible for the building and had hoped for a full judicial review from the Government. 

Ms Ardern said the Government, unfortunately, did not have the power to intervene with the decisions on prosecutions, but she did shed some light on law changes she and Justice Minister Andrew Little had agreed on. 

A corporate manslaughter law was something both Ms Ardern and Mr Little wanted to be introduced.

"We're working on it as we speak," she said. 

The 'year-and-one-day' rule in the Crimes Act was also something both politicians wanted removed from New Zealand law.  

"The Minister of Justice and I both agree it no longer has a place in our law, and we are working hard to see what can be done about that."

The rule outlines that no-one is criminally responsible for the killing of another unless the death takes place within a year and a day of the cause of death.

These processes were all forward-looking and did not have a direct impact on the CTV families, and the government wanted to do everything in its power to prevent this from happening again, she said.

Family spokesman Maan Alkais said the families explained why they disagreed with the police decision and said this was not the end of the road for the families.

"We will never give up, let me say this."

One-hundred-and-fifteen people, including 65 foreign students, were killed when the building collapsed during the February 22, 2011 earthquake. It accounted for most of the quake's 185 deaths.

Newshub.