Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says no 'evidence base' for National's proposal to ban gang patches in public places

The Prime Minister says there isn't an "evidence base" for banning gang insignias in public places as National has proposed and it's not a measure police have called for.

Christopher Luxon on Saturday unveiled National's anti-gang policies, including banning gang patches in public areas and on social media sites, stopping gangsters gathering in public and associating with each other and prohibiting them from accessing guns.

It comes amid a spike in violent crime, particularly in Auckland, including a war between the Killer Beez and Tribesmen gangs. Police Minister Poto Williams told Parliament last week there had been 23 drive-by shootings in the fortnight prior.

National says the Government is failing to address the spate of attacks, but Jacinda Ardern told AM on Monday morning that the opposition party's latest ideas wouldn't be effective. 

"The issue of just blanket bans on patches, you've seen that used in overseas countries and there's been subsequent reports to say it doesn't work," Ardern said, pointing to Australia. 

She later also referenced the insignia ban in Whanganui. Chester Burrows, the then-National MP who introduced a Bill in 2009 allowing the local council to prohibit patches, has since said it was ineffective.

"From what we've seen of where it has been used, it doesn't appear to have been effective," Ardern said on Monday. 

"When you've got a public shooting, what can we do to make sure that we come down harder on those events? Regardless of whether you've got a patch on or not, that is behaviour that we come down on really hard and we've got all the tools we need."

Asked if the Government would be interested in such a ban, Ardern said: "if you look at an evidence base, there isn't one for this". 

She's waiting to hear from police about what extra tools they want.

"I'm asking the police to come forward. [Banning patches] hasn't been on their list of things and there is evidence to suggest it doesn't work. When you look at the experts, they tell us that this is not the thing you'd put your energy into."

Speaking on Saturday at a National Party event, Luxon said patches are already banned in government buildings, like hospitals and courts.

"National will extend these rules to every public space. Patches are about intimidation, and you only get one after you've committed a violent crime to show you're loyal to a gang.

"The ban will also cover publicly accessible social media sites, which Police say gangs are now using to show off, and to make their lifestyle appealing to kids."

While the Government appears unlikely to support that proposal, Ardern said it is willing to work to accelerate the passing of legislation establishing Firearms Prohibitions Orders (FPOs) through Parliament. 

Luxon last week asked Ardern in the House whether she was committed to passing the legislation under urgency when it eventually returns from Select Committee in August.

The Prime Minister replied that National twice considered FPOs while it was last in office and hadn't acted in urgency then, but the Government would "welcome your support".