Australian deportees make up minuscule amount of New Zealand's gang explosion

New Zealand's gang numbers have exploded over the past three years with new figures showing a 46 percent increase in membership.

And Newshub can reveal that despite what the Government has been telling us, only a minuscule amount of that increase can be blamed on Aussie deportees. 

In October 2017 when Labour took office the number on the national gang list was 5300. By the end of last year that had ballooned to 7800 - an increase of nearly 2500 - or 46 percent. 

"This Government is soft on crime," says National leader Judith Collins. 

The Government has consistently pointed the finger at Australia, saying deportees are fueling the gang boom. 

"It's exacerbated by the deportation that the Australian Government has undertaken," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. "It most certainly contributed to what we're seeing in New Zealand now. Absolutely."

But Newshub can reveal that is not the case. 

Of the 2500 new gang members in the last three years, only 41 are deportees from Australia. That makes up just 1.7 percent of the new recruits. 

"The Prime Minister seems to like blaming Australia for our problems, but in this case the data does not support her position," says ACT leader David Seymour. "This gang growth under her Government is 98 percent homegrown."

Ardern says the "knock-on effect" has meant that domestic gangs have "muscled-up" in terms of their recruitment, as a "direct response" to new gangs. 

It's not just the Aussies being blamed for rising gang crime. 

National MP Simon Bridges is taking on Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, calling him a "wokester", earning him a rap over the knuckles from his leader.

"I have spoken to Simon," Collins said on Wednesday. 

Bridges wouldn't say if he apologised to Collins. 

"I'll see you guys tomorrow at committee where I'm looking forward to asking the Police Commissioner a few questions," Bridges said. 

Bridges stormed out of Parliament on Wednesday calling House Speaker Trevor Mallard a twat, but Mallard said he didn't hear it. 

"I didn't hear it, it wasn't drawn to my attention," Mallard told reporters. 

This acting up from Bridges is emblematic of other stirring within National. Some National MPs have indicated to Newshub that a coup could be coming - not this year but next year. 

Collins, watch your back.