Mike's Minute: Govt hopelessly lost on gang debate

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 25 Jun 2021, 1:50PM

Mike's Minute: Govt hopelessly lost on gang debate

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 25 Jun 2021, 1:50PM

In the early part of the debate, the government and parts of the media, too often these days essentially the same thing, tried to dismiss claims from people like the National Party and ACT that what we we’re seeing in terms of gang activity was tired, old race baiting.

The trouble was, those of us who live in the real world knew differently.

Media gave a voice to that woman who pretends to be PR for the Waikato Mongrel Mob. They gave her airtime the same way they might the Salvation Army or the Prime Minister, when she should never have come within a mile of any form of public discourse.

The Feds out of America turned out to be running a major crime ring operation, and low and behold wouldn’t you know it? Gang members in this country, including the Mongrel Mob were involved.

And now we have the Hawke's Bay survey where 44 percent of locals don't feel safe in their own town. That is a disgrace, but a tangible insight into the reality of this country and its lax attitude to criminals.

Then, we got yesterday's statistics on gang profitability, with police having grabbed half a billion in assets since 2017 from crooks. You know full well the half billion won't be all of it, and sadly, probably not even close to all of it.

What will haunt this government eventually is their disconnection with the real world.

Their haughty, cloistered view of what they think regular New Zealanders think is important. The cycle bridge and the EV decisions are good examples.

But the lack of action on crime in general and gangs, in particular, will be part of what brings them down. They're soft on justice and big on theories like rehab.

When you add the likes of Willie Jackson having meetings with gangs and Marama Davidson calling them "community events" and having tea with them, that’s out of touch.

It's an insult to the rest of us who work hard, get out of bed and look to lead a decent, honourable life, raise our kids, and like to live in a prosperous country where honesty, decency, and morals are rewarded.

Half a billion in assets is a booming business. Gangs are a booming business.

Gangs are growing, the numbers don’t lie. Their business is growing, numbers don’t lie.

The rest of us pay for it, either through criminal activity that affects us, or fear by association like Hawke's Bay.

Neither is acceptable. The fact the government denies it half the time and excuses it, if not embraces it, the rest will be their ultimate undoing.

The irony being, they don't even see it.