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Chris Leitch Calls for Gang Hui in Whangarei

Call for gang hui in Whangarei

The gangs who were involved in the boxing night in Whangarei on Saturday should be invited back for a series of hui to address the issues that contribute to gang involvement like unemployment, poor education, and a family environment of alcohol, drugs and violence.

The event at Portland was a useful first step towards non violent communication between rival gangs and was a peaceful event which should seen as a platform to build on.

Shunting the gangs out of town to become someone else’s problem might be a popular cry, but would do nothing to stop more deaths from gang violence in Northland.

Flights of fancy from media darling of the moment, Shane Jones, about dropping a nuke from North Korea on the gang gathering is not going to solve the problem either.

If Mr Jones wants to be taken seriously he needs to come up with constructive solutions that might actually have a positive effect, because glib media headlines won’t cut it.

As Whangarei’s next Member of Parliament I will pressure the government to re-instate the funding it cut from the Salvation Army’s drug programme.

And demand the reversal of the $3 million funding cut last month for agencies that were dealing with youth crime and gang prevention.

I would also push for a big funding boost for the police to give them the resources to have a real crack-down on gang involvement with drugs.

Longer term the inflow of disaffected Maori youth to the gangs needs to be cut off, and support for groups such as Pillars and TYLA, who work in that field and Whangarei’s Leadership Academy of A Company should be boosted significantly.

Without actions such as this the gang problem will continue to escalate, and more deaths are a certainty.

Chris Leitch, Deputy Leader, Democrats for Social Credit Whangarei Candidate


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