The National and Act parties have blasted Labour over its proposed plan to tackle gangs, though largely not because of what the policy actually details.
Chris Hipkins today announced that, if reelected, he’d see frontline police numbers boosted by 300. There was also a pledge to target gang leaders and toughen penalties for stalking and harassment.
But the opposition thinks Labour’s track record on law and order means it can’t be trusted to implement the new policy.
“Labour’s soft-on-crime approach has put New Zealanders at risk, with a 41% increase in victimisations and high retail crime that not only takes a toll on shop workers and business owners, but has a significant economic cost too,” said National’s Mark Mitchell in a statement.
Act Party leader David Seymour was equally critical, telling reporters in Auckland that Labour wasn’t capable of delivering on its promise.
But Seymour also took aim at National during his press conference in front of Act’s new campaign bus.
“As you see the National Party over the past week move closer and closer towards Labour policies, whether it is fees-free, free school lunches, building EV charging stations…the need for a party like Act becomes more and more important,” he said.
Asked about comments by Chris Hipkins today, in which he referred to an “Act-National” government instead of saying “National-Act”, Seymour said it was good that the Labour leader knew how to put something in alphabetical order and took a dig at Labour’s education track record.
He wouldn’t go so far as to suggest Labour was fear-mongering around Act, but added: “The influence Act would have in a government with National is to get rid of government waste and excessive red tape and regulation, to make sure that the streets are safe and chart a path as a country that is a modern, multi-ethnic, liberal democratic state… If anyone is afraid of that, then they must have some strange aspirations.”