This is an entry from Rodney Hide's blog;
Special laws for Wanganui
Posted on 20 Jul 2006
Ex-Nat, ex-NZ1ster, now Mayor of Wanganui Michael Laws' plan to ban gang patches has hit a hitch but new MP Chester Borrows and the National Party are supporting a Bill to make the wearing of gang patches illegal but only in Wanganui.
I am not making this up.
... National's Whanganui MP Chester Borrows, a former detective sergeant, says his party planned to table a bill in Parliament after police headquarters refused to endorse the bylaw [banning gang regalia in parts of the city]. "The police in Wanganui were happy with the bylaw but the office of the commissioner wanted to have parliamentary sanction. . . . Mr Borrows said the bill, supported by National, would apply only to Wanganui, but it was "a commonsense approach to a problem shared by provincial centres across the country"...
Commonsense is a wonderful guide to sound law making!
And Heather Roy on the same subject;
Real Solutions Needed To Address Gang Issue
Posted on 30 Sep 2008
The move to outlaw gangs, their patches and tattoos is nothing more than a ploy to give the appearance of action - a ploy that will yield no results or benefit to New Zealand society in the long-term struggle to deal with the country's gang problem, ACT Deputy Leader and National Security Spokesman Heather Roy said today.
"Such moves are wrongly-focussed, token-ist and entirely predictable - hard-line policies to deal with gangs are reeled out by different Parties in the run up to every election," Mrs Roy said.
"Clearly none of these 'flash in a pan' policies have worked - because they focus more on addressing the mayhem that individual gang members cause, rather than on initiatives that will hit gangs hardest and make it harder for them to operate.
"Legislation outlawing gangs and their insignia is just more law - we don't need more laws, we need to enforce the ones we already have and give police the power to tackle lawlessness where and when it happens.
"Gangs' impact on society is more about their actions than their visibility. Rather than worrying about what gangs wear, we should establish a special IRD unit to audit their incomes and hit them where it hurts the most - in their wallets, rather than their wardrobes.
And in October last year, during the campaign;
Forget about banning gang patches. We need to focus on the anti-social behaviour that they represent. We already have plenty of laws to deal with that but, as a society, we appear to lack the will to enforce them. That's why the criminals are getting bolder.
This is a report from NewstalkZB today;
Anti-gang patch law moving through Parliament
The proposal to have gang patches banned in Wanganui now looks certain to pass into law.
MPs have voted 64 to 58 in favour of the Gang Insignia Bill. Labour, which originally supported the idea, backed down and opposed it, however National received the support of ACT to allow the Gang Insignia Bill to pass through. The law would prohibit gang members wearing any patches on the streets of Wanganui.
The bill has two final readings before it comes into effect.
Green MP Metiria Turei is among those to oppose the plan, saying it will not stop gang violence. She says not only will it be ineffective, but it will also be a significant breach of citizens' rights. Ms Turei says ordinary citizens will suffer if the ban goes ahead.
But ACT MP David Garrett says the law will make sure intimidating tattoos are covered up.
I understand that being in government comes at a price. But it's just getting too expensive for this supporter.
Face of the day
5 minutes ago