Labour MPs react to Stuart Nash's claims his tougher gang asset seizure policy was blocked by Cabinet

Labour MPs are disgruntled at their former colleague Stuart Nash after he claimed he fought for tougher policy on seizing assets from gangs. 

Party leader Chris Hipkins on Tuesday dismissed the comments by Nash, the former Police Minister, and denied his Government was soft on gangs. 

"Cabinet collective responsibility has never been one of Stuart's strong points but, as a former minister, he's entitled to have his views," Hipkins told reporters. 

"One of the reasons we have collective responsibility is that people will remember discussions differently." 

Other Labour MPs on Tuesday morning also expressed annoyance about the comments by Nash, who was sacked by Hipkins as a minister last year after revelations he leaked confidential Cabinet discussions to donors.

"It's disappointing but that's his choice to make those comments - he's no longer bound by that now," said Ginny Andersen, who replaced Nash as Police Minister after his sacking. 

"I don't agree with those comments at all, I think the laws we passed... that legislation has been used a lot by police and it's proved to be very successful in times where there's high tension between two rival gangs." 

Asked if she agreed the tougher policy would've been "anti-Māori", as Nash quoted former Justice Minister Kiri Allan as saying, Andersen said: "There's always a weighing up on the impact and, in any Cabinet paper, there's a part in there that weighs up not only the Treaty [of Waitangi] but iwi as well." 

Andersen noted she wasn't in Cabinet when Allan allegedly made those comments. 

Willie Jackson, Labour's Māori Development spokesperson, accused Nash of having "no class". 

"I thought he was better than that and [I'm] really disappointed with what he's doing at the moment," Jackson told reporters. 

"He should look at himself. I mean, he's one of the reasons why things didn't go too well for us in the polls. 

"We all worked together, we all worked through this and [I'm] really proud of Kiritapu Allan and the work she did in that area... this is just grandstanding from Stu, this is just nonsense." 

Asked what he made of Nash's comments, Christchurch Central MP Duncan Webb also believed the former Police Minister had breached Cabinet confidentiality. 

"[I'm] just disappointed that he thought it was appropriate to talk about a decision to which he was party and to which, ultimately, he agreed," said Dr Webb.