“The Prime Minister and MP for Mt Albert has shown a complete lack of judgment by going to the Chatham Islands today instead of supporting her local community after the tragic death of a dairy owner,” says ACT Leader and Epsom MP David Seymour.

“ACT offers our condolences to the family and friends of the man who lost his life. This should be a turning point where the government finally takes retail crime as seriously as it deserves.

“That it happened in the Prime Minister’s Electorate should be the final straw that makes the Government respond decisively.

“Instead of dropping everything to be in her electorate today and making the response to retail crime a priority, she is on a plane to the Chathams. A trip she could have easily postponed.

“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.

“Jacinda Ardern should be in Mt Albert today and nothing should have got in the way of that.

“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.

“It should never have got this far and the Government must now act to ensure it does not happen again."

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David Seymour