- By Simeon Brown, MP for Pakuranga
Over the weekend it was revealed that, earlier this year, Labour declined to endorse a Cabinet paper that would have stopped Government contracts being awarded to gangs or people associated with gangs.
In July, then Justice Minister Kiri Allan lodged a paper with Cabinet that included a proposal to not engage in or renew any contracts with people affiliated with gangs.
Cabinet deliberately chose not to pursue such a policy and instead continue giving money to gangs, like the $2.75 million they gave from the Proceeds of Crime Fund to the Mongrel Mob to run an anti-meth programme.
It is simply unacceptable that our Government is giving even a cent to known criminals, and New Zealanders rightly expect better.
National has been clear on this stance for years. We will stop Government funding being used for criminal enterprises that are currently causing mayhem in communities across the country.
At a time when gang numbers are at record highs, we should be empowering our hard-working police to crack down on their activities, not giving criminals more money.
It is simply inexcusable that while Kiwis suffer at the hands of gangs and the crime, chaos and misery they peddle, the Labour Cabinet couldn’t even agree to stop giving them Government contracts.
There is no doubt Labour is soft on crime and it is only in recent weeks that they have even acknowledged there is a problem, with policies they should have introduced many years ago to crack down on crime and keep Kiwis safe.
It is no wonder the gangs are actively campaigning for Labour at this election, urging their members to support Labour.
They know a National Government will crack down on their operations and make life hard for them.
The choice could not have been easier around the Cabinet table and Labour still got it wrong.