Sensible Sentencing Trust

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The Sensible Sentencing Trust logo.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust is a political advocacy group based in Napier, New Zealand. The Trust states its vision as "A Safe New Zealand" and its mission as "to obtain a large base of community support, and ensure safety for all New Zealanders from violent and criminal offending, through education, development of effective penal policies, and the promotion of responsible behaviour, accountable parenting, and respect for each other at all levels of society."[1] The trust was formed by Garth McVicar in 2001 in response to the police prosecution of Mark Middleton for threatening to kill Paul Dally who tortured, raped, and killed Middleton's 13-year-old stepdaughter Karla Cardno in 1989.[2]

McVicar has gone on to promoting harsher court sentences and penal policies in the belief that this will reduce crime.[citation needed] In 2006 McVicar was ranked 32nd in a New Zealand Listener Power List, a list of 50 influential New Zealand people.[3]

In 2010, the Trust's tax-free charitable status was revoked by the Charities Commission, on the grounds that it had become a political lobby group rather than a charity.[4] The Trust was a registered electoral promoter at the 2011 general election.[5]


  1. ^ "Goals, Vision Statement and Mission". Sensible Sentencing Trust. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  2. ^ Coddington, Deborah (8 November 2009). "Blinded justice". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Welch, Denis (25 November 2006). "People who matter". New Zealand Listener. Retrieved 18 July 2013. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Marty Sharpe (2012-06-30). "Charity rejection splits Sensible Sentencing Trust". Fairfax NZ. 
  5. ^ "Register of Registered Promoters for the 2011 General Election and Referendum" (PDF). Electoral Commission. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 

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