Government delivers more gang members than houses

Labour promised to deliver 10,000 new homes in three years, instead they have delivered 1058. That means this Government, with 2660 new gang members since 2017, has managed to produce more new gang members than homes, National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“Gang violence continues to increase under this Government and the extension of Operation Tauwhiro is confirmation that New Zealand has a serious gang problem which this Government is completely failing to address.

“It has not only failed to introduce legislation that would empower the police to take firearms out of the hands of gang members, but they refused to support National’s Firearms Prohibition Orders Bill too.

Police Minister Poto Williams previously promised to introduce legislation similar to Mr Brown’s Member’s Bill, but we have seen no action beyond the announcement.

“The Government could actually give Police the tools they need right now by supporting my member’s bill instead of reinventing the wheel and giving itself a soft deadline of ‘before the end of the year,” Mr Brown says.

“Every day the Government delays on this issue, gangs go from strength to strength. Membership is already at more than 8000 and it’s only a matter of time before we have more gang members than police officers.

“Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPOs) are not new. The legislation was recommended to the Government back in 2017 and National has put forward the legislation a number of times but the Government has refused to act.

“National’s FPOs will grant Police warrantless search powers and take firearms out of the hands of gang members. The legislation will also make it illegal for a gang member to obtain a valid firearm license.

“I will keep National’s FPOs legislation on Parliament’s order paper until the Government brings its promised legislation to the table. Police need the tools now so they can crack down on our growing gang problem.”