Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Speech: Law and Order Discussion Document Launch

Hon Simon Bridges
Leader of the Opposition

26 November 2019

Good morning, I’d like to welcome you all here today for the launch of this document. As someone who, as a Crown Prosecutor, has worked closely with the victims of serious violence, rape and murder, this discussion document is close to my heart.

As the Party of law and order, it is also part of National’s DNA.

Labour thinks you need to be soft on crime to be caring. National knows that keeping people safe with a tough response to crime and reducing it through social investment measures, such as prevention and rehabilitation, go hand in hand. Both are essential.

Softening up just breeds more criminals. Hardening up in partnership with preventative and rehabilitative tools ensures less crime.

While Labour soft pedals on prisoners we will ensure victims of crime are even closer to the centre of the criminal justice system.

One of the reasons we are so different from Labour on law and order is because of our experience.

I couldn’t be more proud when I look out around our Caucus, and at those in our Justice team. From my criminal jury trial experience down we have acumen in spades.

Mark Mitchell leads this team, he has dedicated his life to law enforcement and community safety. His life of hands on experience is the perfect complement to my courtroom career, and he is not the only former police officer we have.

In addition, we have many lawyers who understand how to make it all work, including Courts spokesperson Chris Penk.

My thanks to this brilliant team.

Mark will take you through the paper in a little more detail. I will highlight a few specific proposals that I think show the quality and breadth of this work.

It won’t surprise you that gangs are at the top of my list. Patched gang members have increased 26 per cent under Labour – that’s 1400 men. Our proposals range from setting up a specialist unit within Police with similar powers and a similar approach to Strike Force Raptor in New South Wales, to banning patches in public places and getting harder on parole and sentencing for gangs.

To me, it all raises one fundamental question. Are we serious or not? Like most New Zealanders, National isn’t fooled by gang PR campaigns. We know gangs peddle misery in the form of meth and violence and so we are serious. The Government I lead will harass and disrupt gangs every single day I am Prime Minister, with the single-minded goal of eliminating them.

Victims of crime, as I have said, should be at the centre of the justice system, not an afterthought. In recent days I have had the privilege of talking to three families who have had loved ones murdered and who haven’t received the justice they’ve deserved as victims in their own right. Our proposals seek to correct this, whether that’s by automatically signing victims and their families up to the Victim Notification Register or by giving them the right to read their Victim Impact Statements in court, uninterrupted and uncensored.

Our Police are clearly vital to fighting crime. We are concerned to see standards for entering the Police lowered. They must stay high.

We will ensure Police know what law enforcement targets they must meet and we will free them up to do so with a greater use of non-sworn or authorised officers and mental health professionals. To illustrate, whereas now burglaries and thefts are left unsolved in far too many cases, we will let authorised officers get on with resolving these so that police stay focused on first response in areas such as family violence and gangs.

Other proposals show we are more than simply toughening up the system. Our social investment approach will, for example, give people who’ve committed crimes a second chance where warranted. In certain circumstances where set criteria are met we will wipe the convictions of young people so their lives aren’t defined by one incident, and we will put the estimated one third of prisoners who could be working in prisons into work or training because that will set them up for success on the outside.

This is our seventh Discussion Document and shows National has the ideas and momentum in New Zealand politics while Labour is stuck in a rut, failing to deliver on its promises for New Zealanders. In short, this document is part of the biggest policy development process by an Opposition ever.

We hope you like it – but more importantly that you enter into the contest of ideas with your feedback.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Apparent Inability To Read The Public Mood

The basic skill that a successful politician needs is the ability to “read the room” and gauge the public mood. If National Party leader Judith Collins ever possessed that ability, it seems to have deserted her of late. Surely, very, very few of the public would agree with Collins and her deputy Gerry Brownlee when they claim :
(a)that the threat from Covid-19 means that the election due on September 19 must be postponed until November, or sometime next year
(b) that in the middle of the current outbreak the government is obliged to hand over all the relevant decision- making to the top officials in the public service... More>>


Government: Plan To Tackle Problem Plastics

Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem plastics to reduce waste and protect the environment announced Associate Minister for the Environment ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Lockdowns, Leadership And Lebanon

As Melbourne has shown, the webs of urban life overlap so extensively that community transmission can be very hard to trace, let alone control. Each of the family members in the South Auckland family at the centre of the current outbreak will have had ... More>>


National: Emma Mellow As Auckland Central Candidate

Tonight the National Party has selected Emma Mellow to stand in the Auckland Central electorate for the 2020 General Election. Emma Mellow replaces retiring MP Nikki Kaye who first won the seat from Labour in 2008. Emma leads a team of communications ... More>>


Travel: Update On New Zealand And The Cook Islands Bubble

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. More>>

Election 2020: Labour Launch

E ngā mana e ngā reo Ngāti whātua ngā mana whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, e tika te kōrero Ehara taku toa he toa (taki tahi) he toa (taki tini) No rēira tātou e huihui mai nei, ka ‘Hoake tonu tātou’ Thank you for that welcome. And thank ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Political Twins, And On Labour Extending Its Wage Subsidy Scheme

A quick quiz for the weekend. Which political party currently represented in Parliament issued a press release yesterday that contained these stirring passages: “[We have] long supported a free trade and free movement area between Canada, Australia, New ... More>>


Democracy 2.0: NextElection Partners With Scoop For Exciting Democracy Tech

Joint Press Release: NextElection,, ScoopCitizen NextElection , a technology platform empowering democracy and Government accountability, and Scoop Independent News have partnered to strengthen citizen participation in the 2020 New Zealand General ... More>>


Covid-19: Poll On Management Approval

New Zealanders’ overall trust in the Ministry of Health and Government to manage the COVID-19 pandemic is at 82%, down from 91% during April. Overall distrust that the Ministry and Government will manage it in ways which best protect themselves More>>

Election 2020: National Releases 2020 Party List

National’s 2020 Party List is a strong mix of experience coming up through our Caucus, and new and exciting talent joining our team from communities across New Zealand, Party President Peter Goodfellow says. “The National Party is incredibly ... More>>

Horizon Research Limited: How Judith Collins Stopped The Bleeding

Horizon Research includes questions on voting from time to time in its surveys – for both forthcoming referenda and general elections. More>>

Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>






InfoPages News Channels