“After months of build-up,promising to crack down on gangs, the Government has made an announcement without providing a bill. It’s a perfect example of Labour putting spin before substance, announcing announcements, and being MIA on the details,” says ACT’s Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee

“ACT has legislation to take Gangs’ assets, Introduced to Parliament last September. Labour voted it down four months ago. Had they taken gang crime seriously, they could have passed an actual law by now, instead of what will now be in eight months’ time.

“In fact, ACT has far more ideas where those come from. In addition to going after Gang’s assets, the Government should adopt ACT policies including:

  • Gang control orders, a good behaviour contract and an off ramp from the gang lifestyle
  • Mandatory Electronic Income Management for gang members, if you are on the National Gang list and on welfare, you should not receive cash
  • Setting the IRD on gangs using the same authority enabling the High Wealth Individual project to find the source of gangsters’ wealth

“It’s good the Government has adopted one idea, but a total response to gang problems would be worth it.

“We’re glad Labour has U-turned and now supports the logic of what ACT’s been saying. So long as joining a gang is profitable, young people will keep doing it. Our vision is a New Zealand where no kid’s best prospect is becoming a Mob Prospect.

“The difficulty is that after the Government’s grand announcement today, there is no actual bill for anybody to inspect. As is so often the case, they’ve got the communications ahead of the substance.

“If they do get round to implementing today’s announcement, they should also rule out giving any of the proceeds to the Mongrel Mob, as they have been known to in the past.

“If Labour had been prepared to work with other parties to solve the Gang problem, the Government could be far ahead of where we are. Sadly, they tried to go it alone, and they made an announcement without an actual bill to vote for.”

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Nicole McKee