March 2018 Submission: Sentencing (Livestock Rustling) Bill

March 2, 2018 11:52 pm
National Office
Level 5, Technology House,
86 Victoria StreetPO Box 12-021, Wellington
New Zealand

Phone 04 473 5524

12 March 2018



Justice Select Committee


Via online form



Rural Women New Zealand

Submission on Sentencing (Livestock Rustling) Bill




Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to the Sentencing (Livestock Rustling) Amendment Bill.



About Rural Women New Zealand


  1. Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is a not‐for‐profit, member-based organisation that reaches into all rural communities and has an authoritative voice on rural environment, health, education, technology, business and social issues. RWNZ strives to ensure that all rural residents, workers and families have equitable access to services, inequalities are addressed by Government, and the wellbeing of rural communities is considered from the beginning of all policy and legislative development.


  1. RWNZ is a member of the Rural Stakeholder Crime Prevention Partnership and is a member of the NZ Police Firearms Community Advisory Forum (FCAF).


  1. RWNZ is affiliated to the Associated Country Women of the World and as such upholds all United Nations, ILO and WHO conventions and outcome statements as they relate to women and rural women in particular.



Specific Comments


  1. RWNZ created a survey (appendix 1) which was shared both with our members and more widely on social media.


  1. Livestock rustling is a crime that has a huge impact on our rural communities and RWNZ are pleased legislative steps are being taken to address the issue.


  1. We agree that livestock rustling should be an aggravating factor in sentencing, however, we believe that further definitions and regulations need to included in any legislation for it to be effective.


  1. Rustling is not a crime in the Crimes Act and this needs to be amended. There is an offence called Theft of animals which is considered a crime against rights of property but it is only an offence if the animal is killed.


  1. The consequences for someone charged with the current offence ‘’theft of animals” as described in section 223 of the Crimes Act, are not effective.


  1. RWNZ suggest some changes below that we feel will give substantial support to the police officers working in the rural sector and act as a deterrent.


  1. Our survey showed that all classes, ages and types of livestock were stolen, from calves and lambs, to mature cattle, stud stags and even goats as well as stock feed, kiwifruit and oats.


  1. Respondents overwhelmingly highlighted an issue with policing through either a lack of response to reports or no activity in working towards an arrest. Some respondents didn’t even bother contacting police.


  1. Financial loss from rustling is not confined to the value of the livestock but also includes loss of future income streams that would have been generated from that livestock. It takes time to replace livestock and generate income from those replacements.


  1. Loss of income is not the only effect that rustling has on rural businesses or families, there is also the invasion of property and especially when weapons are involved, the consequential feeling of vulnerability.



We ask that consideration be given to the following changes:


  1. Section 221 (Theft of Animals) of the Crimes Act be amended to:


  1. Section 221: Rustling

Every one commits rustling who —

  1. enters any farm, orchard, plantation, park, game estate or part of a farm, orchard, plantation, park or game estate without authority and with intent to kill, injure or steal all or part of an animal, working dog, horse, vegetable crop, fruit crop, arable crop, edible fungus crop, floriculture crop, insect crop or plantation forest;
  2. having entered any farm, orchard, plantation, park or game estate, remains in it without authority and with intent to commit an offence as described in (i) above, on the farm, or in the orchard, plantation, park or game estate.


  1. We suggest that there is also an offence called aggravated rustling where the offence includes a weapon:


  1. Section 221a: Aggravated Rustling
    1. Every one commits aggravated rustling who (a) while committing rustling, has a weapon with him or her or uses anything as a weapon; or
    2. having committed rustling, has a weapon with him or her, or uses anything as a weapon, while still on the farm, or in the orchard, plantation, park or game estate.


  1. We also suggest changes to the punishment of rustling:


  1. Section 223: Punishment of Rustling
    1. Amend clause (a) to read…against section 220 and 221…
    2. New section (e) in the case of any offence against section 221a, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.


  1. We suggest a new clause [(1) (c)] under Section 6 of the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009: Meaning of significant criminal activity:

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, significant criminal activity means an activity engaged in by a person that if proceeded against as a criminal offence would amount to offending…


  1. 6 (1) (c): which is considered rustling under the Crimes Act.
  2. We believe that this will ensure that any vehicle or other property used to commit rustling are able to be seized and forfeited.





  1. We urge the members of the Select Committee to ensure that New Zealand’s rural communities are returned to a safe, enabled and empowered space by ensuring that legislation is fit for purpose and does indeed give our rural communities a sense of security.


  1. Rural Women New Zealand wish to appear before the Committee in support of our submission.



Yours sincerely







Penelope England

Chief Executive Officer

Rural Women New Zealand

PO Box 12-021, Wellington 6144

p 04 473 5524




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