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Nats' Tough Talk Is All Hot Air

24 September 2008

Nats' Support Of Gang Tats Shows Tough Talk Is All Hot Air

The National Party’s unwillingness to outlaw the display of gang tattoos show the party’s tough talk on gangs is all hot air, says New Zealand First law and order spokesman Ron Mark.

Mr Mark’s comments follow the completion of the select committee report on the Wanganui District Council (Prohibition of Gang Insignia) Bill, which is due to be tabled in the House.

“This bill is step one in the War on Gangs,” said Mr Mark.

“We listened to the mayor, council and citizens of Wanganui, and assured them that New Zealand First would do what it could to make their streets safer and remove the scourge of gangs.

“We would encourage all councils to follow Wanganui’s lead and adopt similar measures.

“People should note from the report that banning of gang-style tattoos was a controversial part of the bill but vital to ensure the bill was effective. It was a ‘die in the ditch’ issue for the Wanganui Council, which even stated it would withdraw the bill if it that clause was removed.

“National party members did not support banning the display of such tattoos because of human rights concerns, so putting the rights of gangs ahead of the right of ordinary Kiwis to be free from intimidation.

“This proves that National’s tough talk on gangs is just that – talk.

“Despite National’s failure to back up its bravado with action, New Zealand First ensured that the tattoo provisions were included in the bill.

“Labour members, meanwhile, tried to have the bill ‘parked up’ and not progressed until they had completed one of their famous ‘reviews’, this time into South Australia’s anti-gang laws.

“The only party that did not resile from any part of the bill was New Zealand First, and we say we will take it further and ban gangs and drive them out of our communities.

“We have the legislation ready to go,” said Mr Mark. “Who’re you gonna call?”

ENDS

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