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It is time to change direction

It is time to change direction

The Kiwi Party
Press Release
July 5, 2008

The Kiwi Party released part one of its Law and Order policy at the Party's Manawatu Regional Conference today.
Speaking at the conference Party leader Larry Baldock said any Government's primary responsibility was to use its law making and law enforcing authority to provide a just and safe society for all its citizens.
"When we look at NZ today it is obvious to most of us that our Government needs to make some major changes to our current law and policies to arrest the increase in violence and issues of injustice taking root in our society.

"Drug and alcohol abuse is at the root of much of our crime and must be tackled with a new approach.  According to a World Health Organization report, 41.9% of our nation's people have used cannabis and that by the age of 15, 27% of our youth had used the drug. That study ranked New Zealand second only to the United States in the use of cocaine and cannabis. P use has been estimated by other studies to affect between 4% - 7% of our young people.
"We must address the devastating affects of 'P' and other drug use by changing from the failed policies of this government's harm minimisation strategy to a more proactive harm elimination approach. Our young people need a strong message to encourage them to make the right choices with regards to binge drinking and drug usage.
"This is especially critical where the culture is being dragged into our schools and colleges. Random testing would help identify those in need of help and make it clear that we do not intend to stand idly by while they waste their youth and potential instead of using the time to equip themselves for a better future for themselves and their families.

"It has been a mistake to lower the drinking age in this country while simultaneously increasing the availability of alcohol. It is time to reverse this social experiment and work on reducing the access young people have to alcohol as well as impose tougher sentences on parents and others who supply minors.

"Hand-in-hand with drug testing we must encourage community investment in a greater number of drug rehabilitation and detox centres.
"We must ensure that our prisons are drug free and if our state run corrections service cannot achieve this important goal then we believe we should investigate the possibility of privately managed prisons where accountability can be enforced with economic penalties.

"The Kiwi Party would Increase the penalty for Class A drug manufacture and distribution to be the same as for murder.
The reality is that those profiting from drug sales are likely to be responsible for the deaths or grievous bodily harm of at least 10 other individuals. The seriousness of the consequences a crime has on a society should determine the harshness of the punishment.  This is especially critical when some of those affected are minors who need more, not less protection.
"Under our Kiwi Party policies violent criminals would loose any rights to parole, or home detention, and those charged with violent offences would not be eligible for bail.
Prisons can offer incentives to inmates for good behaviour but these must occur within prison walls, not out in the community where any misjudgement of a prisoner's reform by the parole board can be devastating to innocent citizens.
"We recognise that our gang problems cannot be solved by law enforcement alone. We must support existing community based solutions to address the conditions that create the 'push' to gang membership namely poverty, a weak family structure, overcrowding and a disinterest in education.  Simultaneously though, police action must focus on the organised crime syndicates operating through some gangs.
"The Police Association has called for a nationwide task force, something the Kiwi Party backs wholeheartedly.  Appropriately empowered, it would deal with the high levels of organised crime now controlling some of the gangs springing up from our troubled neighbourhoods," said the Kiwi Party Leader.


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