New Police Minister Ginny Andersen promising to be 'fair', make New Zealand 'safe'

The new Police Minister is "honoured" to have the role and is promising to be fair and make New Zealand safe. 

Ginny Andersen spent her first day on the job on Tuesday after being handed the major portfolio following the departure of Stuart Nash.

Andersen becomes the sixth Police Minister since Labour came to power in 2017.

The Hutt South MP worked in police as a non-sworn staff member for a decade, working mainly in the policy space.

Andersen told AM on Wednesday she hopes that experience will be of benefit to the new role.

"When John Key was the Prime Minister I was seconded to the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and I worked on an action plan to reduce methamphetamine use," she told AM co-host Melissa Chan-Green.

"The main aim was to reduce both the supply and the demand of methamphetamine in New Zealand. While it did some good things, some of the measures I think could've been improved but it taught me how to work across agencies and it also showed the harms that methamphetamine does to New Zealand communities."

Her aim for the role is to make New Zealand safe and is backing the police to do that. 

"A key way of doing that is backing our cops to win and we've done that as a Government by having more cops on the front line," she said. 

"We'll reach 1800 extra police officers by June this year and also having tougher laws, so cops have the rules and the tools to do the job. That's what I'm here to do."

New Police Minister Ginny Andersen.
New Police Minister Ginny Andersen. Photo credit: AM

Andersen said there are three main areas she is focusing on to make New Zealand safe. They are reducing retail crime, backing police and breaking the cycle of crime early. 

Andersen told AM she acknowledges retail shop owners are at the front line of crime but despite ram-raids tracking down since August, more needs to be done. 

"That's why we've got two specific schemes, one led by police, one led by MBIE to provide greater protection for those front-line people who feel exposed to crime," she said. 

"I want them to feel safe in their workplace and will continue to do things like put fog cannons into those shops to make them feel safer."

Watch the full interview with Ginny Andersen in the video above.