A petition signed by more than 140,000 people urging the Crown to appeal the sentencing of a driver who hit and killed a 15-year-old boy in Auckland was handed to Parliament today.
Nathan Kraatskow's parents Orion and Charlene handed the petition with 143,000 signatures to National Party MP Mark Mitchell. It asks the Crown to appeal the sentence of Rouxle Le Roux.
Fifteen-year-old Nathan Kraatskow died in May this year, after Rouxle Le Roux ran an amber light with her Mercedes while on Auckland's North Shore.
Le Roux, 19, had been drinking and smoking cannabis before the incident.
She was sentenced on Friday to 11 months home detention, which Nathan's mum says isn't enough for the damage she caused.
After the incident Le Roux posted a picture on Instagram of herself wearing a prison jumpsuit and skeleton make-up with the caption: "Hide your children".
On Monday the Crown indicated they would consider appealing Le Roux's sentence.
Today an emotional Nathan Kraatskow addressed media outside Parliament.
"Our cheeky loving boy has been robbed of his future and from fulfilling his dream of being in the Air Force. A dream he had held since he was five," he said.
He said Le Roux had made a "mockery" of the justice system.
"We feel we have been let down and ignored and we are now asking to Crown to make this right."
"After Nathan's death we felt sorry for Rouxle, but her behaviour since she was charged has been disrespectful and shows a lack of remorse."
"I feel we have been let down and ignored and we are now asking the crown to make this right."
National Party leader Simon Bridges said the issue had struck a nerve with New Zealanders.
Belinda Sellars, lawyer for Rouxle Le Roux, says her client is "very worried" about the petition.
"What concerns her is that people are getting these really strong feelings and don’t know the full facts," Ms Sellars said.
Le Roux’s Instagram post was not meant to cause harm and she’s apologetic about it, the lawyer said.
"If anything they were about a person putting on a bit of a brave face and just simply not thinking about what they were doing."
Ms Sellars said prison time was not appropriate for the case.
"She certainly has learnt from this experience and I wonder why everybody seems to think jail is the answer.
"Why is destroying another life and not allowing for rehabilitation going to help in any way?"
Justice Minister Andrew Little said the law hasn’t been reviewed for a while, but he can’t comment any further on the possibility of a review while the Crown considers appealing the sentence.
"We’re using the law that’s on the book at the moment, there’s a question about what you put in the law, what you prescribe as penalties and then what judges do with that," he said.
The decision on the consideration of an appeal from Crown Law will be known by next month.