Further threats made to National by gang members

Increasing attempts to intimidate political party candidates and volunteers are examples of a culture of brazenness among offenders that is flourishing under Labour, National’s Justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith and Police spokesperson Mark Mitchell say.

Yesterday, National’s Manurewa candidate Siva Kilari was threatened by a gang member who told him to tell National’s Leader that he could not take power away from gangs and if he did Police wouldn’t be safe. This is one of a number of examples where gang members have intimidated National Party candidates.

“Threats and intimidation by gangs only strengthen our resolve to stand up for Kiwis because for six years the Labour Government has been dismissive of growing lawlessness in New Zealand, and offenders’ beliefs that they can act with impunity,” says Mr Goldsmith.

Mr Mitchell says gangs have benefited from soft sentences under Labour – 60 per cent more gang members are on home detention under Labour’s watch and there is an 87 per cent increase in gang members on home detention in the South Island.

“The number of gang members showing blatant contempt for the law on home detention means they are now responsible for almost one in every three breaches nationwide of home detention conditions. When gang members flout their home detention, more and more have no sanction at all imposed on them.”    

“It is no surprise that we are seeing clear online exhortations by gang leaders to their followers to vote for political parties on the Left,” says Mr Mitchell.

“Mongrel Mob Kingdom President Sonny Fatu has said on social media he expects the biggest turnout of gang members voting this country has ever seen in light of National’s policies, while Stuff reported much of the crowd at a Hawke's Bay Labour Party candidate event was made up of Mongrel Mob members.

“Gangs are obviously aware of National’s policies to crack down on them and they naturally prefer being left alone by Labour.”

“Whether you are going to work in a dairy or jewellery store, or campaigning in a democratic election, you should be able to do so with no sense of fear but, too often, that is simply not the case in New Zealand today,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“A recent report indicated retail crime cost $2.6 billion during the past year, and 92 per cent of all retailers were the victims of crime.

“Of course, not all of that is gang related but the same sense of impunity applies when we’re seeing people leave supermarkets with trolley loads of groceries they have not paid for. One way or another, all of us are paying for this crime wave.

“New Zealanders are sick of it, and National says ‘enough’. This is not a side of New Zealand that any of us like. Retailers are anxious and frustrated by being victimised by repeat offenders with insufficient consequences for those responsible.

“That’s why a National government will ensure offenders face consequences for their actions, and it’s why our party talks about people’s rights and their responsibilities, because there are too many people who know only one side of that equation.”

National's plan to restore law and order includes:

  • Backing Police with new tools to crack down on criminal gangs
  • Delivering more Police on the beat
  • Restricting sentencing discounts so criminals face real consequences
  • Creating Youth Offender Military Academies for repeat, serious young offenders
  • Delivering faster justice for victims and better rehabilitation for offenders.

“In every electorate, New Zealanders are telling National’s candidates that the cost of living, and crime, are significant concerns for them,” says Mr Mitchell.

“National will rebuild the economy to bring down the cost of living. We will deliver tax relief and we will unashamedly make public safety the number one priority for the criminal justice system so New Zealanders feel safer and are safer.”