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Collins Comments 31 March 2006

Judith Collins Clevedon MP
31 March 2006

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Good on Papakura District Council for making a submission to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee supporting Manukau City Council's Graffiti Control Bill.It's time the graffiti vandals faced up to their mess and are handed appropriate penalties and convictions. Graffiti is not a bit of harmless fun! It's downright vandalism, and the marking of supposed territory by criminals. There must be many property owners who wonder why this government is so intent on microchipping farm dogs when law abiding people have their property vandalised every day.

Papakura District Council has almost doubled the money spent on tagging in the past year. Tagging costs Manukau City ratepayers $1.5 million to clean up each year. This graffiti Bill aims to penalise those convicted of graffiti by imposing fines of up to $2500. It also proposes to fine retailers $1500 if they sell spray paint to anyone under 18. Papakura District Council want an extra graffiti offence added to the Bill. They want drivers intentionally driving taggers to a crime site to have their licence suspended for two years. It's a good attempt at dealing with the situation. There would be many who wonder why not confiscate the vehicles themselves? I'll only be happy when this country has the courage to force taggers to clean up their own mess. I am just one of many people who have had enough of handwringing experts excusing crime. The problem with fines is that they just won't pay.

OUR LITTLE SECRET

Child Youth and Family (CYF) staff will no doubt be outraged by the lack of leadership and trust shown by their Minister Ruth Dyson. Miss Dyson has now admitted that she knew of the merger between CYF and MSD last year. She has also admitted that her staff were only told hours before the public announcement. That means that apart from showing no confidence in her staff, she also didn't get their input into how merging the department charged with looking after our most vulnerable children into a giant Ministry is going to benefit those children. She didn't ask so she didn't get told!

It only gets worse for Miss Dyson with a State Services Commission CYF report released this month. After more than 6 years of a Labour Government, the report found the department continued to be a dysfunctional organisation, staff confidence was low, and social workers were oblivious to policies and regulations.

WHY CAN'T THE MINISTER OF POLICE COUNT HOW MANY POLICE THERE ARE?

In answer to my written Parliamentary questions seeking to find out How many actual sworn officers per 10,000 population there were as of March7 2006 for particular districts, including Counties Manukau, the Minister of Police has answered It is not been possible to obtain the information required to enable me to respond to this question by the due date. This response also answers parliamentary questions for written response Nos.2591-2595, 2597-2601 and 2603(2006).

In other words, despite paying their salaries, the Minister of Police can't tell us how many sworn Police officers there are in any particular district. Frankly, I cannot believe for a moment that the Minister of Police has lost her staff. I want to know this information, because in our electorate, we know that Counties Manukau Police are undermanned. The Minister must know that and her way of hiding the truth is the sort of nonsense reply above. I would appreciate your feedback on whether I should continue to push for more Police for Counties Manukau.

This newsletter is available on my website www.judithcollins.co.nz.

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