Labour's Ginny Andersen, National's Erica Standford clash over gang makeup warning in comical interview

National's Erica Stanford and Labour's Ginny Andersen have clashed in a comical interview on AM over the Nats' suggestion gangs may have to cover up offensive facial tattoos with makeup.   

It comes after National's police spokesperson Mark Mitchell told RNZ last month if its proposed ban on gang patches does not work, then it would consider forcing gang members to apply foundation over their facial tattoos or face arrest.   

"If the gangs think they are going to get around a ban on gang patches by having swastikas and offensive tattoos on their faces, then we’ll take action to curb that," Mitchell said. 

On Friday, AM's Ryan Bridge asked Stanford if her party is going to offer gangs "your Thin Lizzy or whatever"?  

Stanford, though, was quick to tell him that it wasn't National's police, while Labour's Andersen giggled at the question.   

"I note Ginny's laughing, this is just a follow on of the last six years of being soft on crime and making a joke of it," Standford said. 

"Mark said he was going to legislate," Andersen replied.  

"Mark Mitchell didn't say that," said Stanford. 

"He said that he was looking at options overseas as to what they're doing."   

When Mitchell was asked by RNZ what he would do if insignia was tattooed on, he said further legislation would be passed on banning that.  

"The Australians passed a law whereby now gang members have to wake up in the morning and they have to apply foundation to cover offensive tattoos that they have put on their faces to again, try and intimidate members of the public."  

Andersen, curious as to how a makeup rollout would work, asked: "Is it one layer? What if you can still see a little bit? 

"Would it be a ticket from a police officer if they had not good applied make-up? Or would they get a lesson to apply it better if they weren't doing it very well?"  

Stanford became increasingly frustrated by Andersen's take on the matter and told AM: "I'm sorry but we can make light of this, but the public are absolutely fed up and sick to death of what the gangs have been doing in our communities. 

"Shutting down schools and communities and roads and highways to peddle misery and angst amongst the public, and they're doing this on purpose to strike fear into people."  

When asked what Andersen thought about a gang member who spoke to Newshub on Thursday night with a swastika tattooed on his face, she said "people get a whole lot of tattoos".  

Andersen described the makeup suggestion as "ludicrous" and said it's not the solution to tackle organised crime.  

"We're talking about Thin Lizzy on gang members, I think it's ridiculous."  

Stanford fired back, saying gang member numbers have "exploded" while Labour was in Government: "Clearly their answer hasn't worked."  

Watch the full interview above.