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Get Your Priorities In Order, Labour

Get Your Priorities In Order, Labour

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today slammed the Labour Government's move to give $34 million to the America's Cup syndicate, at a time when taxpayers' money should be used more effectively.

"Police around the country are stretched, hindered in their job by lack of adequate funding and resources, yet - rather than invest in law and order - the Government would prefer to give millions of dollars to a rich man's sport," Dr Newman said.

"It is time for the Government to get its priorities straight. The maintenance of law and order is the most important role of any government, yet Labour would rather play populist politics and try to pick winners - or losers, as the case may be.

"The escalation in methamphetamine manufacture and use, criminal gang activity and violent, drug-related crime is a growing national emergency which the Government refuses to acknowledge - despite police warning that they are not coping with the problem.

"Just this week, the Commissioner of Police admitted that more resources are needed if police are to get on top of crime in general - and drug crime in particular.

"Unfortunately, however, policing is not as sexy as yachting. The $34 million Labour is throwing into the Cup challenge would go a long way into hiring the 1,700 extra police that would give New Zealand the same per head of population policing ratio as Australia.

"That said, however, I think we will continue to see the Government playing at its disgraceful games. I am calling on the Government to stop this frivolous use of taxpayers' money, and urge it to reconsider its priorities. Reversing police shortages to keep us safe here at home is more important than investing in a rich man's sport on the other side of the world," Dr Newman said.

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