Aucklanders are fed up with gangs flouting the rules

Today there has been yet another breach of lockdown restrictions in Auckland by gang members. It is demoralising for the more than 1.7 million Aucklanders who have diligently adhered to public health instructions and stayed home, to see others flouting the rules so brazenly, National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“Many, many New Zealanders have tragically missed funerals for loved ones throughout this pandemic. Kiwis have had to say farewell to family members through a Zoom call. A father is likely to miss the birth of his triplets because he hasn’t been permitted to cross the Auckland boundary.

“No doubt the gang members who gathered in West Auckland today were grieving the death of the person whose funeral they were attending. However, they are no more entitled than any other person in New Zealand to ignore Covid-19 restrictions.

“While the Government is unwilling to openly discuss it, there appears to be a considerable barrier to Auckland reducing its case numbers and that is that increasing numbers of gang members are Covid-positive, but are not willing to isolate or comply with regulations.

“Aucklanders are fed up. Businesses are shutting for good. The rest of the country can’t get on with life properly while our largest city is out of action. It is wrong that the rules are being applied in such an ad hoc manner by the Government.

“This is just not good enough. The Government needs to make it clear that the rules apply to gang members and if they break them they will be treated just like everyone else.

“As one onlooker in West Auckland today remarked to the NZ Herald, the Prime Minister is willing to make a lot of excuses for gangs. Perhaps it’s time for some tough love?”