Fog cannon installer ditches Government contract, saying 'there's no plan in place'

A key New Zealander installer of fog cannons, bollards and roller doors is pulling out of his Government contract to bolster security, saying there are no clear plans in place. 

It comes a week out from the Hamilton West by-election, where ram raids and crime are front of mind for locals.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Christopher Luxon were in Hamilton on Thursday, as landlord Geoff Henderson was putting in his own security after another ram raid.

His family’s Liquorland store has now been hit twice in 11 weeks. 

He said he can't and won't wait for the Government's Crime Prevention Fund to help out.

"We had to apply with the police. His [the officer's] reply to me was he will send an email to Wellington - he doesn't know if he will ever hear anything back. We can't hold onto that sort of hope, we just have to get stuck in," Henderson said.

Henderson has taken to parking his van in front of the store at night until he can install new bollards and strengthen his doors.

"There's no one coming so we just do it ourselves."

Ardern was in Hamilton on Thursday where she met with the Hamilton City Council, iwi and police, to discuss tackling crime in the city and around the country.

"We have doubled, or the police have doubled, the number of contractors they are working with because we want to speed up the pace at which retailers are getting that support," Ardern said.

But two doors down from Liquorland, Total Vision Optometrist, which was ram-raided in August, only got its fog cannon this week - almost four months later. 

It's one of 100 stores still awaiting crime prevention measures.

NZ Police confirmed to Newshub only four companies in New Zealand have the contract to install fog cannons, bollards and roller doors under the Crime Prevention Fund. 

Newshub has learned one of the four, Focus Digital Security Solutions, has pulled the pin this week and said the Government process is a shambles and "there is no plan in place".

"It lacked a strategic plan that a project of this size required and for us, there's no point in throwing money at something and expecting it to happen. It has to be structured," Focus Digital Security Solutions director Graham Zuill said.

As a key installer for the New Zealand police, his company's withdrawal will undoubtedly add to the wait for ram raid victims.

Many will have been applauding news this week that the Government's committing $4000 to any retailer who wants a fog cannon, whether they've been hit or not. 

It follows the announcement of an extra $1 million to prevent crime in Hamilton, to be matched by the Council.

Ardern confirmed no new extras were discussed Hamilton’s Safer City Taskforce but said members would meet next week on how the money would be spent.

"The Government is literally making this up on the fly, you saw announcements just this week made under huge political and public pressure," Luxon said.

Nine days out from the Hamilton West by-election, crime is a cornerstone issue that can't be ignored.