Sex offenders may no longer be able to change name

  • 03/12/2015

Parliament has passed the first reading of a bill that stops convicted child sex offenders legally changing their names.

The member's bill, drafted by National's Jian Yang, has been sent to a select committee for public submissions.

"It will assure parents they can have faith in the vetting of anyone employed in a job involving children," Dr Yang said.

"It will prevent child sex offenders from changing their names in an attempt to get close to children."

Labour and the Greens said they supported the bill's intention but didn't think it would work.

Green Party MP David Clendon recalled a recent case involving a child sex offender who had used a fake birth certificate to get a job in a school.

"I see nothing in this bill that would stop people breaking the law in that way," he said.

"There's nothing in it that would prevent that sort of thing."

Labour's Jacinda Ardern said the bill could create a false sense of security.

It passed its first reading by 75 votes to 46.

National, NZ first, the Maori Party, ACT and United Future supported it.

Labour and the Greens opposed it.