Our opinion is that the public’s safety has to be the priority. Rights to privacy [for an offender] are part of the problem,” the trust’s founder Garth McVicar says.
“I’m a big believer in New Zealanders being able to forgive and move on, but the more we … allow offenders to hide their identities then the worse the problem becomes. Put your history on the table and let people judge you on the facts.”
Criminologist Greg Newbold, who many years ago was jailed for selling heroin, has a different perspective.
“Everybody is entitled to a second chance,” Newbold says.
“People can change their ways and should be given the opportunity to prove themselves trustworthy when they get out of jail.”
Only those applying for certain jobs, like police, doctors, lawyers and childcare workers, should be required to to disclose their criminal past, Newbold says.
He has no problem with ex-convicts changing names if it allows them to get on with their lives and become better people.