Key Note: Our Plan For Law & Order
20 June 2008
Our Plan For Law & Order
Watch my video diary on crime and what National will do about it.
Labour is desperate to cover up its failures on law and order. It has written to me, asking National to support a new bill it is introducing to help deal with gangs. National will support this bill because it includes features of the policy we announced in November. The bill will increase the maximum prison term for participating in a gang and make gang membership an aggravating factor in sentencing.
We have also proposed a select committee inquiry into alcohol use and licensing because we think these issues should be looked at as part of a plan to tackle crime and violence.
National has already announced several parts of our comprehensive law and order package:
- Fresh Start: A package of youth education and justice measures to give young New Zealanders the opportunity and responsibility to better themselves. This includes Fresh Start programmes for those on the road to serious offending, aimed at instilling discipline and addressing the causes of offending. These programmes will include up to three months training at, for example, an army facility.
- Strengthening Police Tools: Introducing tasers if the taser trial is a success, strengthening bail laws, introducing on-the-spot protection orders to protect families, and requiring DNA samples to be taken from all those arrested for offences punishable by imprisonment.
- Clamping Down on Gangs and P Dealers: Tougher sentences for belonging to a gang and more powers for the Police to intercept gang communications and storm fortifications.
- Putting Victims First: Improving the treatment of victims, including the establishment of a victim compensation fund paid for by a levy on all offenders.
There is more policy to come. National is committed to improving the safety of our communities and we have a comprehensive law and order plan to tackle growing violence in New Zealand.
HELPING TROUBLED YOUTH
It's really inspiring to see just how much can be done in the community to get troubled kids off the path to crime and onto a positive life track.
On Monday I was in Tauranga with Bob Clarkson MP. We visited Relationship Services to learn about their innovative Positive Pathways programme. This is an intensive three-month pilot programme aimed at 12-14 year old boys who have a history of aggressive behaviour. By addressing problems early, the programme leaders hope to improve the prospects of these young men before they move away from their families and into relationships of their own.
I am a firm believer that everybody can make a real difference in their own lives and in their communities. Programmes like this show that community groups are coming up with innovative solutions to problems that government agencies are sometimes unwilling or unable to confront.
That's why National has developed our plan to Turbocharge Community Groups. We want to make sure that Kiwis from every community and every background have a chance to make the most of themselves and New Zealand's future.
Last Thursday I was at Mystery Creek near Hamilton for the National Fieldays. Watch my video diary from the Fieldays here.
It was great to meet so many people from across the farming sector and the hundreds of service industries that support rural New Zealand. Fieldays is an excellent showcase of the innovation that is driving our agricultural sector. It's also a great chance to catch up with how things are going down on the farm.
With booming world commodity prices, global food shortages, growing demand from Asia's prosperous middle classes, and improved farm productivity, positive times are ahead for our agriculture sector.
But there are also some big challenges. Our farmers face growing international competition, climate change obligations, environmental pressures, more compliance costs, and a high NZ dollar. On top of this, prices remain depressed for sheep and beef farmers.
National recognises these challenges. We also recognise how important it is for all Kiwis that our primary producers continue to prosper and take full advantage of the opportunities they have.
National is committed to policies that support rural New Zealand. We will work with our rural communities to make sure they have the tools they need to deliver a world-leading, innovative, and prosperous primary sector that plays a big part in our country's future success.
John Key MP
Leader of the National Party