The Prime Minister is denying Labour is favoured by gangs after a member urged their followers not to vote for National because of the party's promised crackdown on organised crime.
Jacinda Ardern faced questions on Monday over whether the call highlighted a view her party was softer on crime than the Opposition - a suggestion she rallied against.
It comes after a Head Hunters member shared a post from National on social media, urging their followers not to support the party. The post detailed how National planned to crack down on gangs including banning gang patches, giving police the ability to stop gang gatherings in public and the ability to search gang hangouts for guns.
"If you vote or you are considering voting for these f******* please remove yourself from my friends list," the gang member wrote under the post, according to NZ Herald.
The post ignited recurring criticism from the National Party that Labour is soft on crime.
But Ardern hit back strongly after being asked whether she wanted gang members to vote for Labour.
"If there is an argument that we are not going to take crime and victimisation and community safety seriously in order to garner votes… I just find that a reprehensible position, of course not," Ardern told AM's Melissa Chan-Green on Monday.
"One of the things I will point out is under this Government we have increased the number of police officers, we are increasing the number of tools that are available to police, today we are adding some additional tools particular on organised crime.
"So the idea that somehow we are the party of favour for gangs, I would just push back on that very hard."
The Prime Minister said her Government takes gang crime very seriously and urged people not to join gangs.
"Don't join a gang. Ultimately if you don't want to be worried about what a political party represents for you, actually don't engage in the victimisation of New Zealanders, don't intimate our communities, and don't recruit young people. That's actually what I would like to see being promoted more wildly rather than how gangs vote. "
It's not the first time gang members have urged their followers not to vote for National. Last year a video surfaced showing lifetime Mongrel Mob member Harry Tam urging fellow members not to vote for the party.