The Minister of Police is backing the taxpayer, as opposed to tobacco companies, paying the bill for new security measures for vulnerable dairies.
A $1.8 million security initiative's been unveiled today- aimed at cutting the rate of armed robberies dairy owners have been facing.
Police Minister Paula Bennett rejects suggestions the costs should be carried by tobacco companies and maintains the Government does have a role to fill.
She thinks these small owner-operated businesses, which are under stress, are up for a bit of Government assistance.
"And if that means us coughing up maybe $1500 to support each of them, then I think most New Zealanders would be happy to do that," she told Rachel Smalley.
Ms Bennett is contesting suggestions cigarettes are solely responsible for an increase in dairy robberies.
She said it's too simplistic to say cigarettes, which have increased in price due to repeated tax increases, are the main factor behind the increase in crime.
"You can't say that. It's not true. You just don't know that factually," she said when Rachel Smalley suggested that cigarettes were the main driver.
LISTEN ABOVE AS POLICE MINISTER PAULA BENNETT SPEAKS TO RACHEL SMALLEY ON LARRY WILLIAMS DRIVE