Public are disquieted by gang warfare and ram raids – will the Police Minister cop it in a Cabinet reshuffle?

Law  and order  is back as a  key political issue  as  gang  warfare  and ram raids in Auckland  dominate the headlines.

National accusing the Labour government of being “soft” on crime  has  grabbed  the initiative with its  call  for  a  crackdown on gangs  and its proposal to give the  police fresh powers to  deal with them.  As  a  consequence  National has  gained  further  ground as  Labour  slips  in the  polls to  new  lows.

Meanwhile  Police  Minister Poto Williams has  looked  more  and  more  a  weak  link  in the Labour Cabinet, facing calls  by  Opposition parties  for her  to be  sacked. She  could be  top of the  list on the  soon-to-be-announced  Cabinet reshuffle.

Prime Minister Jacinda  Ardern  has  responded by saying the government is  “considering” more action to crack down on violent gang behaviour but has dismissed the idea of a ban on wearing gang patches in public.

There have been almost  nightly shootings and arsons in Auckland and Northland in recent weeks linked to escalating tensions between the Killer Beez and Tribesmen. Continue reading “Public are disquieted by gang warfare and ram raids – will the Police Minister cop it in a Cabinet reshuffle?”

Police Minister under fire on gangs and guns – and attention is drawn to the PM’s gamble

Police  Minister Poto Williams  is  becoming  a  liability for the  Ardern  government,  one  of  several poorly  performing  ministers  (think of  David  Clark, Kris Faafoi,  Phil Twyford).

Williams  displayed  her  quality  as    Police  Minister  once  more in  Parliament this  week as  she   faced  questions  on law  and  order. Not  surprisingly her  performance  (or  lack of it)  is  beginning  to  attract media  attention— although  those  in  line  for   government handouts  tend  to  steer   clear  of  anything  that smacks  of a  sacking.

This  is  how  Hansard  recorded  her  latest exchange,  during  which  most  government MPs  kept  their heads  well  down.

 Hon MARK MITCHELL (National—Whangaparāoa) to the Minister of Police: Does she stand by her statement, “I reject the premise that gang tensions have increased under this Government’s watch”; if so, how does she reconcile that with reported police intelligence, which states parts of the country have experienced unprecedented levels of gang violence in the past year?

Hon POTO WILLIAMS (Minister of Police): I stand by the full context of all of my answers at question time. In answer to the member’s second question, gangs have been a feature of New Zealand society for well over half a century. What police intelligence shows us is that the arrival of the 501s in 2015 has fundamentally changed the nature of gangs, making them much more overt and sophisticated. This was responded to at the time by cutting police numbers. That’s why, since 2017, we have funded the largest increase in organised crime staff, deployed 1,400 more cops across the country, and introduced legislation to give police more tools to address gang violence.

Hon Mark Mitchell: Why do gangs have more guns under her watch?

Hon POTO WILLIAMS: I would like the member to quantify that for me please. Continue reading “Police Minister under fire on gangs and guns – and attention is drawn to the PM’s gamble”

How Poto Williams rejected a premise and denied Nats the data sought about gang membership

For   successive  days  in Parliament this  week  National’s  Mark  Mitchell   has  been asking Police  Minister  Poto  Williams whether gang  violence  has  increased  or  decreased  under  her  watch—and  whether  gang  membership  has  risen in that time.

Adopting a  technique favoured  by  her  leader,  Williams  is apt to say “I reject the  premise of  that  question”.

It’s a neat way of answering without providing the information that has been requested.

Here’s how  Hansard recorded  the   exchange  on  this point: Continue reading “How Poto Williams rejected a premise and denied Nats the data sought about gang membership”

Tamaki is a tad late with his “political prisoner” claim – but it isn’t too late for him to try martyrdom

Brian Tamaki’s grasp of New Zealand history does not match the magnitude of his chutzpah.

News media are reporting the Destiny Church leader has been taken into police custody and his group, the Freedom and Rights Coalition, has broadcast this on social media.

This puts a name to the Police announcement that a 63-year-old man was arrested in relation to a breach of bail conditions following an event in Christchurch earlier this month.

The police said the man was due to appear in the Auckland District Court via audio visual link later today.

According to RNZ:

Tamaki is facing charges of breaching Covid lockdown restrictions and a condition of bail was that he not attend further protests.

Tamaki and his wife Hannah earlier posted a separate video in which he said the police were coming to arrest him.

Was that a joyous hallelujah we heard ringing around the nation? Continue reading “Tamaki is a tad late with his “political prisoner” claim – but it isn’t too late for him to try martyrdom”

While we wonder who Poto Williams represents, let’s muse on why Greg O’Connor missed out on the Police post

Newstalk ZB broadcaster Mike Yardley, writing about his recent interview with Police Minister Poto Williams,  said he had been keen to learn why she was so dead against Armed Response Teams.

Good question.

But some of Williams’ replies during the interview raised another issue:   who does the Member for Christchurch East represent?

We emailed that question to her office last Wednesday.  We have yet to receive a reply.

In the Newstalk ZB interview, Yardley put it to Williams that – along with the Police Commissioner – she was placing far too much stock on the woke radical pressure groups who purport to represent the public pulse on policing issues.

He mentioned lobby groups such as Just Speak, Action Station and People Against Prisons Aotearoa, describing them as

“… a bit like the cycling lobby, highly organised, highly adept at capturing councils, flooding them with submissions, and courting favour.”

Yardley reckons these groups are driving the anti-cop agenda and fuelling the hostility to armed police. Continue reading “While we wonder who Poto Williams represents, let’s muse on why Greg O’Connor missed out on the Police post”

Police and their Minister duck Maori Party question which drew attention to something troubling about children and the cops

Yes, we are aware of the Maori Party’s aversion to Parliamentary questions from Opposition MPs which aim to flush the PM and her government into the open on their programme of incorporating the “Treaty partnership” in their reform programme.

The Maori Party insists those questions are racist and has pressed the Speaker to rule them out of order.

It has also challenged the Speaker and Parliamentary protocol through expressions of dissent which culminated in one co-leader being ordered from the House for performing a defiant haka and the other walking out to show her support for her colleague.

This has won headlines around the world.

Not bad for an outfit which won 1.2 per cent of the party vote at the 2020 general election.

Māori Party co-leaders Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi have also won publicity this week by declaring their intent to fight the Government’s proposed laws targeting gangs. Continue reading “Police and their Minister duck Maori Party question which drew attention to something troubling about children and the cops”

Stuff and nonsense – reporter seems to think crime will stop when Parliament passes a law to make it illegal

A headline across the top of two pages of our Dominion-Post today brought stunning news:

It blared:  Children hit despite anti-smacking law.

Gee – who would have imagined that?

A variant of that headline can be found on the Stuff website:  Physical punishment of children still ‘fairly common’, despite anti-smacking law change – study

The article recalls that .. .

In an effort to improve child health outcomes in New Zealand, the Government introduced anti-smacking legislation in 2007 that prohibited the physical punishment of children.

Has the prohibition succeeded in sparing miscreant children from being strapped, slapped, smacked, whacked or otherwise physically chastised?

Apparently not (and is anyone seriously surprised?)  Continue reading “Stuff and nonsense – reporter seems to think crime will stop when Parliament passes a law to make it illegal”

Squatters at Shelly Bay learn from the PM’s Ihumātao intervention and hunker down for the long haul

We have opened a book, among members of the Point of Order team, on how long it will be before the PM offers to sort out the land dispute at Wellington’s Shelly Bay and (to win the double) how much the settlement will cost taxpayers.

Just a few weeks ago a bunch called Mau Whenua – who are fighting the sale of land at Shelly Bay – were reported to be pinning their hopes on the Māori Land Court to sort things out.

A Stuff report says Mau Whenua is made up mostly of members from Wellington iwi Taranaki Whānui opposed to an earlier sale of Taranaki Whānui land at Shelly Bay to developer Ian Cassels.

The $500 million Shelly Bay project, led by Cassels, is arguably Wellington’s most-controversial development in living memory due to allegations of the illegal sale of Māori land there, perceptions Wellington City Council bent to the will of Cassels, and concerns the seaside site and road to it can’t handle the intensification.

Mau Whenua was due to appear in the High Court in March in an action aimed at overturning the sale.

Alas, a shortage of money became an impediment to this course of action through the legal system when  significant help with funding to pay the $2.2m required to continue the case was withdrawn. Continue reading “Squatters at Shelly Bay learn from the PM’s Ihumātao intervention and hunker down for the long haul”

Let’s forget about prison and see what a term in charm school can achieve – or will crime disappear in decolonised NZ?

A warning was sounded at the beginning of a recent New Zealand Herald report about the crimes of a couple of blokes who – according to the  Indigenous Pacific Uprising – should not be imprisoned.

The warning was in capital letters.

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING – THIS STORY CONTAINS DESCRIPTIONS OF VIOLENT CRIME.

The two blokes in question were jailed for their part in what the Herald described as

“ … a brutal kidnap where the victim was tortured over 12 hours – his pinky finger cut off with secateurs, both feet shot and his naked body burned with a blowtorch while he was tied up and gagged.

“His attackers, who believed he had robbed another person of “thousands of dollars”, burned his eyes with cigarettes, urinated on him and beat him for hours in a bid to get him to disclose where the money was.” Continue reading “Let’s forget about prison and see what a term in charm school can achieve – or will crime disappear in decolonised NZ?”

Are America’s troubles part of a pattern or a new twist?  A bit of both perhaps 

The speed with which US protests over a ghastly death in police custody have morphed into something multi-dimensional and international precludes easy analysis.

But the triggering event, a citizen of a free country dying at the hands of the police is always shocking and invariably depressing.  It doesn’t seem to matter much that in this case (and one hopes the next one, because there is likely to be a next one) the authorities are doing the right thing: investigating and, in this instance, deciding that there is evidence to prosecute the policeman. Continue reading “Are America’s troubles part of a pattern or a new twist?  A bit of both perhaps “