ACT's Nicole McKee met with Mongrel Mob representative despite criticising Willie Jackson for the same

Just two days after the ACT Party tore into the Government for meeting with gangs, Newshub can reveal one of its own MPs met with a Mongrel Mob representative.

It's been met with cries of hypocrisy, but ACT says their meetings were different.

Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson has had four meetings with gang members since last year's election. Three of these were in his Beehive office with social worker and longstanding Black Power member Eugene Ryder, and the fourth was an hour-and-a-half hui with the Mongrel Mob Kingdom in the Waikato.

ACT's justice spokesperson Nicole McKee said on Monday the Government should be standing up to gangs, not having a cup of tea with them. But Newshub can reveal she's been engaging with them herself.

When the Mongrel Mob submitted at a select committee in March, McKee was quite complimentary of their community work. Afterwards, she asked for a meeting.

"If I had time, she wanted to meet with me. She just had some things to discuss," says Lou Hutchinson, the Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom's public relations representative.

In their texts obtained by Newshub, McKee wrote: "Hi Louise, Nicole here. I'm wondering whether you're free for a quick chat." She then organises a meeting in Parliament.

They discussed McKee's Member's Bill which would allow police to seize gangs' guns. The Mongrel Mob didn't get a cup of tea, but Hutchinson was offered a glass of water.

"I am a polite person," McKee says.

Jackson takes issue with ACT meeting with gangs after they criticised him for doing the same.

"It actually shows up the ACT Party to be the hypocrites that they are," he says.

Nicole McKee.
Nicole McKee. Photo credit: Newshub.

But McKee doesn't see it as hypocritical.

"I see it as being forthright and presenting the case directly to them. We're coming after them," she says.

On Monday, Jackson rejected the idea he shouldn't meet with gang members, saying the meetings are part of his job.

"We've got to meet to get to the nub of the problem. You can't just sit back and run an extermination programme," he said.

But McKee was adamant there should be absolutely no engaging with gangs.

"They change their act, then we can get in behind them and support them."

A lesson in politics for a newbie MP: if you're going to throw stones at gang houses, make sure yours isn't made of glass. Hypocrisy is the dirtiest word in politics.