Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Labour promised to tackle gangs 407 days ago, they’ve done nothing

“407 days ago Labour announced that they would amend the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act “to introduce new power enabling seizure of assets of those associated with organised crime.” But we’re yet to see any action,” says ACT’s Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“The new Justice Minister needs to show she’s not going to repeat the inaction of her predecessor and hurry up and introduce a bill allowing Police to seize gang assets.

“ACT gave this Government the opportunity a month ago to pass my member’s bill to freeze and seize assets from gangs upon finding an illegally held firearm at a raid, but Labour voted it down.

“Only a week later the Prime Minister told the AM Show they were working on their own legislation to achieve the same outcome, and the new Police Minister has said that he and the new Justice Minister are “having discussions” and that they’ll “talk about it in the next few weeks.”

“Where is the urgency? New Zealanders are afraid to walk around their own neighbourhoods or put their children down to sleep at night in the front room. We don’t have time for the two Ministers to schedule a chinwag about the issue sometime over the next few weeks.

“If they have been working on this for weeks as the Prime Minister claims, or for over a year as their press release states, then they should have a bill ready to go which could be scrutinised at Select Committee to ensure it achieves the end goal of keeping New Zealanders safer.

“Even better, Labour could have supported my bill a month ago and we could be that much closer to giving the Police real powers to hit gangs where it hurts, their wallets.

“The problem is here now, and it’s only getting worse. It’s about time the Police are given our full support to hit this nail on the head with a mighty big sledgehammer.

“ACT had a solution and the Government chose to ignore it, they can’t ignore the large group of Kiwis who are feeling unsafe in their communities and they need to deliver this legislation.”