“The $10 million of funding provided to retail businesses is only equal to the amount provided to bail out AJ Hackett bungy in 2020. The Government values the thousands of vulnerable retail businesses in New Zealand living in fear the same as it valued a single tourism business two years ago,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“After months of retailers begging for change, the Government has finally admitted it was wrong and widened the criteria for its retail crime prevention fund. It’s disappointing that it has taken a tragedy for them to listen.

“ACT has been calling on the Government to widen the criteria of the retail crime fund for months. It is ludicrous that to be eligible for protection from ramraids, you first have to be ramraided.

“As a local MP, I’ve gone through periods where every time I return from Parliament I go and visit the latest victims of retail crime. This death could have happened a hundred times before, in hindsight it has only been luck that has prevented something like this happening earlier.

“We have called on the Government to get tough, and smart on the epidemic of retail crime that followed the epidemic of COVID-19. We have proposed idea after idea to try and get on top of the ram raids and the robberies, but the Government has barely listened, if at all.

“Just three months after the Government required judges to treat aggravated robbery less seriously by repealing Three Strikes, the Prime Minister wants us to believe she now means business. But criminals got the message loud and clear.

“The Government needs to show a clear pathway of consequences for young offenders, from instant practical penalties as proposed by ACT, to ankle bracelets for offenders, to secure facilities to keep offenders in if they do not comply with earlier sanctions. It then needs to get them back to school or employment.”

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David Seymour