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Violence Against Small Business Owners Ignored

Government Ignores Violence Against Small Business Owners

Friday 12 Jul 2002

Extract of a speech by Hon Richard Prebble, Leader ACT NZ
At Jay Dee's Dairy, 377 Selwyn Street, Christchurch
On Friday 12th July 2002 at 11am

I am visiting Jay Dee's Dairy today - a dairy which as been robbed three times - to make a point.

There has been a crime wave of violence directed against the new New Zealanders who run small businesses, such as dairies.

The owner of this dairy, Mr Ho, migrated from China just three years ago. He has been bashed, and he and his family terrorised. The most recent robbery occurred on June 15 when a man armed with a pick axe entered the shop.

There has been a string of such attacks on Christchurch dairies and service stations in the last few weeks. One Chinese dairy owner had his arm broken with an axe, and another was stabbed in the back with a knife. Some of these dairy owners have only recently moved to New Zealand. They had never been robbed in their home country.

In almost all these cases, the robbers were repeat offenders - most of them out on parole.

How can Helen Clark claim that crime is falling when violent crime has risen every week under Labour?

This dairy is just three hundred metres away from Jim Anderton's electorate office, yet Mr Anderton has not once expressed concern about the violence being carried out against dairy owners.

Mr Anderton, who Helen Clark says will be a Minister if Labour is re-elected to government, has been very critical of ACT's policy of Zero Tolerance for Crime and Truth-in-Sentencing.

The government is promoting half-million-dollar fines against employers whose workers claim to be stressed - but the same government has reduced the time that violent offenders must serve in jail to just one-third of their sentence.

There are dairy owners who have been robbed more than ten times and can no longer get insurance. If this was happening to trade union members, the Labour government would be taking very strong measures.

ACT's policy of Zero Tolerance for Crime will see attacks on dairies, fall as they have in New York.


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