- By Naisi Chen, Labour List MP based in Botany
The brazen ram raid at the Ormiston Town Centre was a shocking act of criminality in our community.
Even more distressingly, police have said the perpetrators are most likely young people, including many under-18.
The reality is stopping criminality like this requires a nuanced and holistic approach.
A large body of academic literature in New Zealand shows that simply increasing penalties for offending does not reduce the crime rate.
This is particularly true for young offenders with Oranga Tamariki recently noting it is already working with most children involved in the recent crimes.
Police Minister Poto Williams has described the Government’s approach as “holistic”, recognising that we need to help our most vulnerable rangatahi choose a better path.
As part of that, the Government has announced $18.9 million in Budget 2022 for programmes to reduce truancy which is a critical factor in youth crime.
Locally, the recent announcement of the Howick Police Station in Cook Street shows the police’s commitment to east Auckland.
Alongside Labour’s delivery of 1800 new police officers, including around 300 in Counties Manukau, the Government is investing in our safety.
Over the last month, we’ve also heard a lot about the cost of living. Inflation is high and many Kiwi families are doing it tough. Unfortunately, the hot air from the opposition is also rising.
In his Q&A interview, [Opposition Leader and Botany MP] Christopher Luxon tried to argue that Government spending was the cause of inflation.
That disregards the immense global supply chain issues and war in Ukraine that is pushing up oil prices.
Even worse, when asked to name an instance of Government spending that he would cut to reduce inflation, he couldn’t identify anything that was even 0.1 per cent of core Crown expenditure.
The only solution he has is an $18,000 tax cut from himself and the other wealthiest New Zealanders, among whom are some of his biggest donors, which he admitted was inflationary.
Labour is delivering a plan to manage the cost of living by supporting Kiwis doing it tough, rather than the top end of town.
We’ve increased Working for Families, the Winter Energy Payment, cut the fuel excise and reduced road user charges, boosting the income of 1.4 million Kiwis.
I’m also looking forward to Budget 2022 on May 19 where we’ll continue delivering on our economic recovery.