Judith Collins to meet mother of slain police officer, expects National MP will propose life without parole for cop killers

Judith Collins will meet with the mother of slain police officer Constable Matthew Hunt on Wednesday and expects a National MP will propose a Private Member's Bill to ensure cop killers serve life in prison without parole.

Matthew was tragically shot dead in June while carrying out a routine traffic stop in the west Auckland suburb of Massey. A man has been charged with his murder as well as attempting to murder another officer and wounding a member of the public.

Just over five months on, Matthew's mother, Diane, will present a petition to Parliament on Wednesday calling for changes to the Sentencing Act 2002 and Parole Act 2002 to "automatically decline parole eligibility for offenders convicted of the murder of police officers".

Currently, under the Sentencing Act 2002, if someone is convicted of murder, they must be sentenced to life in prison unless that sentence would be manifestly unjust. Murderers can become eligible for parole, however, after a period chosen by the sentencing judge. The Christchurch terrorist is the only person to have been sentenced to life in prison without parole. 

Speaking to The AM Show on Wednesday morning, Collins, a former Police Minister, said she supported Diane's call for change.

"Yes and I am meeting with Diane this afternoon as well. I can't imagine what she is going through, but she will also be very concerned, I think, that the Government is hellbent on getting rid of the three-strikes law against these very violent offenders," Collins said.

She expects that one of the 33 National MPs will want to push forward with the petition idea.

"The petition will go to the Petitions Committee in Parliament, but I am very certain that someone in the National Party will be wanting to put forward a Private Member's Bill. It is the sort of thing we'll discuss at caucus."

The petition, which will be received by National MP Mark Mitchell, received more than 39,000 signatures on the Parliament website.

It reads: "In memory of killed police officer Constable Matthew (Matt) Hunt, my beloved son. My son lost his life whilst serving his country".

"If you truly believe what was said by numerous politicians after Matthew's death that police lives matter, passing this legislation should be done without delay. I believe our sentencing laws for murder do not adequately condemn the actions that result in the murder of police officers."

In 2016, the Victorian Government in Australia introduced legislation to stop parole being given to cop killers.

On July 30, which would have been Matthew's 29th birthday, Diane wrote that her son had "so much to live for". 

"He loved serving his country as a police officer, a role he thrived in.  I have started this petition to offer a level of safety to our 14,000 serving police officers, Matthew's police family. If you feel the same please sign the petition and share. Thank you. We love you Matthew. This should never have happened."

She also wrote to Jacinda Ardern in August asking her to support the petition.