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Killer petitions parliament to give sperm

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/05/2017

A man serving a life sentence for a Wellington murder has asked parliament to allow prisoners to donate blood and organs - as well as semen to father children.

Karl Teangiotau Nuku was in 2011 convicted for killing 28-year-old Dean Browne with a hammer and was given a minimum non-parole period of 18 years.

He's now submitted a petition to parliament asking legislators to pass a law "providing prisoners with the opportunity to register for, and to make, organ and blood donations, and that long-serving/life prisoners should have the opportunity to make seminal donations to registered agencies, so as to father a child."

Labour MP Trevor Mallard, who presented the petition to parliament, told NZME he had never spoken with Nuku, but believed every citizen had a right to petition parliament.

"I made a deliberate decision not to look into his background of the reason he is in prison. Because I don't think it is relevant to the right to make a petition," he said.

The Department of Conservation said there was no specific law keeping prisoners from donating sperm, blood or organs, but it did not facilitate donations as part of regular health treatment either.

"As with any other health-related activity, consideration would be given on a case-by-case basis by the prison director, who is required to ensure the safety and security of all involved," director of offender health Bronwyn Donaldson said.

The NZ Blood Service says it does not collect blood from prisons because rates of hepatitis B and C are much higher among prisoner populations than the general public.

Family First director Bob McCoskrie said while he agreed prisoners should be able to "repay their debt to society" by donating blood and organs, he rejected the call for sperm donation to be allowed.

"Fatherhood is not a right. It's a privilege based on the person's ability and commitment to being an active and responsible dad for that child," he said.

The petition is now with parliament's Law and Order Committee.

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