Judith Collins takes aim at Government, gangs in National's third 'demand the debate' billboard

Judith Collins has released National's third 'Demand the Debate' billboard, criticising the Government for giving $2.75 million to a Hawke's Bay meth rehab programme linked to the Mongrel Mob.

Announcing the latest billboard, Collins called the Government's approach to law and order "appalling", and targeted the growth in gang membership under Labour.

"The Government backing the Mongrel Mob to rehabilitate people on meth over proven organisations with no gang affiliation will make many New Zealanders angry," Collins said in a statement.

"Giving $2.75 million to the Mongrel Mob and their Trust in the Hawke's Bay shows the Government is completely devoid of the reality of the misery gangs cause to law-abiding New Zealanders.

"That this money will also be used so meth addicts can work on a 'gang leader's garden' is ridiculous, and the taxpayer deserve better."

Launched last weekend, National's 'Demand the Debate' campaign calls on the Government to give Kiwis more say on issues that weren't campaigned on, such as the He Puapua report, the $785m Auckland cycle bridge and the so-called 'ute tax'.

However there are already signs it's got off to a lukewarm start among the National Party caucus. Last Sunday just three National MPs - Chris Penk, Simeon Brown and Stuart Smith - re-tweeted Collins' announcement.

And this weekend, so far just one MP - Simeon Brown - has retweeted Collins' post on Twitter. But Collins said there's been an outpouring of support across the country from New Zealanders.

"Every week I'm contacted by thousands of Kiwis who feel they are being left out and want a say on the future of their country," she said in her statement.

"They want the debate on whether government policies are recruiting more gang members than police officers, creating more victims than prisoners, and whether 'arrest is now the exception' as said by police.

"The Government's Parliamentary majority is not a mandate for Labour to promote their ideological wish list. New Zealanders deserve a say on their country's future and together we must demand the debate."