Nicole McKee: Labour's soft on crime approach fertilising growing gang problem

  • 27/07/2021

By Nicole McKee for Magic Talk

OPINION: In recent times I have watched on as gangs and violent crime has become an increasing problem in our communities.

People have been driven off the road by gang members.

Shop keepers have been intimidated. People are afraid to go out on the streets at night.

We can't stand by and do nothing. That's why ACT has launched our law & order discussion document in Wellington. 

This is the second of our three Discussion Documents as part of our Honest Conversations series.

Labour's soft on crime approach has just fertilised the growing gang problem. This is the dangerous side of Jacinda's kindness. 

She likes to blame Australia, but only two percent of new gang members are '501s' sent from there. We need a Government that takes responsibility for what's happening on its watch.

ACT will introduce gang injunction orders, take the politics out of policing, put gang members who receive welfare on electronically monitored spending and get rid of the target to reduce the prison population. ACT has long put the focus on victims of crime, rather than coddling offenders. 

We introduced the Three Strikes Law that sent a clear signal to the worst one percent of offenders: we won't tolerate repeat violent offending. ACT will fight any attempts from the Government to repeal three strikes. 

Nicole Mckee.
Nicole Mckee. Photo credit: Newshub.

In addition to the discussion documents, we have also put two constructive Member's Bills on the Ballot that would hit the gangs in their pockets by toughening up the proceeds of crime act and a second Bill that says, no rehab, no parole. It focuses on the many barrier's prisoners face to gaining employment post-release, such as poor literacy, numeracy and educational underachievement.

The current approach sees more New Zealanders becoming victims, more costs being incurred for taxpayers, and lost potential for those who end up in a corrections facility. ACT's policy would help to ensure people released from prison are better equipped with the skills to lead a more productive life upon release.

As part of our honest conversations on public policy issues, we also put out our discussion document on housing. ACT has been listening and we know that housing is one of the biggest issues facing New Zealanders. 

ACT has put forward a package that would solve the underlying problem in housing. 

From left: ACT Deputy leader Brooke van Velden, leader David Seymour, and no.3 Nicole Mckee.
From left: ACT Deputy leader Brooke van Velden, leader David Seymour, and no.3 Nicole Mckee. Photo credit: Zane Small/Newshub.

We need new ways to fund and build infrastructure, new coordination between central and local government, new rules for consenting land, and new ways of accessing building materials. ACT would:

  • Introduce a GST Sharing Scheme with local councils, encouraging them to build more houses
  • Remove barriers to finance build-to-rent schemes
  • Introduce a Public-Private Partnership Agency known as the 'Nation-Building Agency' (NBA).

This week, we put forward our discussion document on the New Zealand economy.

A good Opposition proposes, not just opposes. That's why we will continue to release policies with positive solutions. 

Because as a country we deserve better. ACT will focus on making New Zealand a safer place.

Nicole McKee is the ACT Party's spokesperson for Firerarms Law Reform, Conservation, Justice and Veterans.