Labour wants action to 'smash the gangs'
Labour wants gangs smashed "once and for all" and says if it wins the election police will have a mandate to do it.
Police spokesman Stuart Nash says the harm caused by gangs is well known but the government has done little but talk about it.
"It's time for real action to smash gangs once and for all," he said on Thursday.
"Under Labour, we will focus our 1000 new police on fighting organised crime and strengthening community policing - both will have a mandate to smash the gangs."
Mr Nash says a 2014 government report highlighted the "damning statistics" around gangs, crime and the cost to society.
And in March last year the Ministry of Social Development reported nine out of every 10 gang members had received the main benefit on average for 8.9 years between 1993 and 2014.
Gang members had been paid more than $500 million in benefits during that time.
"We know so much about gangs and yet they continue to thrive while spreading social disease and destruction through drugs, crime and neglect," Mr Nash said.
"Nearly three-quarters, or 2624 of the identified 3627 gang members, have been arrested and charged between January 2014 and October 2016, so a tougher strategy is urgently needed.
"If we smash the gangs we will go a long way to disrupting the drug supply chains and distribution rings that have spread evil throughout the country."