ACT policy targeting gangs and their proceeds

David Seymour has announced ACT Party policy that targets the criminal proceeds of gangs.

Newshub: Gangs targeted in ACT Party proposal, pledges to ‘hit them where it hurts’

Party leader David Seymour told Newshub Nation the policy was simple.

“If the police find illegal firearms and illegal activity by a gang, then they can take their assets because, at the moment, gangs are getting around the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act by having a large number of small operations,” Seymour told host Simon Shepherd. “We’re saying that if you have a firearm and you are dealing drugs and you are a gang, then the Crown can take your assets because, ultimately, these guys don’t care about going to jail.”

Gangs were using money and assets to recruit people and keep “feeding the disease”, he said.

Seymour said under the current Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act, police had to prove at least $30,000 worth of assets were involved before a seizure.

“What we’re saying is that if you’re a gang that’s breaking the law and you’ve got an illegal firearm onsite – we’re going for your assets straight away.

“This is a practical policy – it’s achievable and it would make a difference. Will it solve the whole problem? No. Will it get us going in the right direction with practical steps? Yes.”

ACT will hit the gangs where it hurts

“ACT will target the gangs by hitting them where it hurts – their pockets,” according to ACT Leader David Seymour and Firearms Spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“New Zealanders deserve to be safe and secure, but violent gangs are a scourge on our communities.

“Over the past two and a half years, the number of gang members has increased by a third.

“There’s been a 54 percent increase in the number of gang members being charged with firearms offences. That’s at least one gang member a day being charged with firearms offences.

“We’ve seen a clear escalation in behaviour from the gangs, with regular shootings using illegal firearms.

“The current approach to dealing with gangs and illegal firearms hasn’t worked.

“Neither the Government’s new gun legislation, nor the buyback, has made a difference to the number of illegal firearms in circulation.

“Locking people up gets them off the street, but the gangs don’t care if young prospects are sent to jail and just carry on operating in our communities.

“We need to get smarter. That means hitting the gangs where it hurts.

“If Police find illegal firearms at an unlawful, gang-run operation, we’ll seize their assets.

ACT will amend the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 (the Act) so that if a Police search finds:

  • an illegal operation (e.g. drug manufacturing for supply or money laundering), and
  • the unlawful possession of a firearm, and
  • a person who is either a gang member or is closely affiliated,

it can apply to the courts for an order to seize the operation’s assets.

Currently, Police must meet a number of tests before it can apply to the courts to seize assets under the Act.

That includes proving a link between illicit money and the purchasing of assets, and proof of drug manufacturing or money laundering at a value of more than $30,000.

Police often wait until the suspected value is much higher as an offence is then easier to prove.

“Under our proposal, if an illegal firearm is found in the possession of a known gang member at a property where an illegal operation is taking place, authorities will not be required to meet the current tests. The discovery of an illegal firearm can be used to fast-track the seizure of assets,” says Firearms Spokesperson Nicole McKee.

“ACT is going to go after the gangs and their guns by hitting them where it hurts.

“In the wake of our nation’s tragedy in Christchurch, the Government targeted the wrong group of New Zealanders by scapegoating law-abiding firearms owners. It should be going after the gangs.

“One illegal firearm in the hands of a gang is one too many. If Police find illegal firearms at an unlawful operation run by a gang, we’ll seize their assets.

“Under our proposal, gangs will either need to shut up shop, disarm, or have their assets seized.

“New Zealanders deserve to be safe and secure, but violent gangs are a scourge on our communities. ACT’s plan to get smarter in dealing with the gangs is a step towards safer communities.”

ACT have been improving in polls, getting between 1.8% and 3.5% with the last from Colmar Brunton at 3.1%, and if the get this sort of result in the election Seymour will have several MPs in with him. If National keep bungling then ACT may pick up even more support.

Seymour will also be on Q+A this morning and plans to announce more policy.

 

Previous Post
Leave a comment

24 Comments

  1. duperez

     /  12th July 2020

    Heck, Act after gangs and it’s election year. I didn’t see that coming! 🤔

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  12th July 2020

      I’m sure it’s not their only policy. Unlike you I saw it coming. I mean…Andrew Little? How could ACT miss. Seems a like good policy. Although I would like to see more details.

      So, Duperez, are you happy with how police are handling gangs, road blocks and violence at present?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  12th July 2020

        Funny that on one hand Seymour is saying make more firearms generally available to the population including high powered semi automatics and dont bring in stricter controls on the people who own guns.
        On the other hand Seymour wants a ‘crackdown on gangs with guns’

        All the illegal guns gangs have were once ‘legal firearms’. And continuing to have having the semi automatics would be a real worry. Thats the sort of gun they like to show off with.

        So ACTS polocies will allow easier access , especially to the semi automatic high powered rifles ( if you allow them for general use they will get them for illegal use) and then a sop about confiscating assets.
        The $30,000 floor doesnt seem to stop gang leaders having substantial assets now and the reality is there are 1000s gang members with ‘general household goods’, a vehicle or 2 anyway. Illegal Guns in a particular vehicle will catch a lot people outside gangs.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  12th July 2020

          ”Funny that on one hand Seymour is saying make more firearms generally available to the population including high powered semi automatics and dont bring in stricter controls on the people who own guns.”

          Show me where this is ACT policy and I will get down to the voting booth with all the other mindless noddies to vote come election day.

          ”All the illegal guns gangs have were once ‘legal firearms’. And continuing to have having the semi automatics would be a real worry. That’s the sort of gun they like to show off with.”

          That’s crap. Illegal firearms where coming through the Mt Maunganui port in the 60s like confetti. They were traded with locals at the pub. The 70s saw a huge increase in security, with the wharf fenced off, so I cannot comment about that time period going forward. Semi Autos are a fanatic weapon to own. You obviously have never fired one.
          Most owners I know would never big note with a semi. Any fool knows that’s asking for trouble.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  12th July 2020

            😃

            * Semi Autos are a fantastic weapon to own.

            Reply
          • Duker

             /  12th July 2020

            “That’s crap. Illegal firearms where coming through the Mt Maunganui port in the 60s like confetti. ”
            60 years ago…andecdotal stories from the pub about a few now ancient old guns
            In the last decade imports by gun dealers were in the tens of thousands PER YEAR
            More than 52,000 firearms imported into New Zealand last year, Customs data shows- – about par with the last four years., this was 2018 !
            You live in a fact free universe with your nonsense and your wacky health nostrums…if theres an ignorant opinion based on NZ in the 60s -you have it

            Reply
      • duperez

         /  12th July 2020

        My thoughts about how police are handling gangs, road blocks and violence?
        They are mainly about the societal conditions which cause them and see them a problem for all.

        Act comes up with flasher ambulances at the bottom of the cliff and knows they’ll get support for that and the bigger flasher more devastating clubs they want to provide to bash any inhumanity and perceived badness out of people.

        No doubt Act would see their wonderful policies as eliminating the evil of gangs and what they do. We’ll see it today I suppose with their announcements of how their policies will change the face of our society and got us on a roll, see us truly the promised land.

        Lowering personal tax, cutting the company tax rate to allow businesses to grow and encourage entrepreneurs, cutting wasteful spending of taxpayer’s money and
        championing free trade agreements, reduce red tape and reform the Resource Management Act? Do these those as ways to eliminate the need for people to be in gangs?

        You have to admit gangs serve at least one good purpose. Gangs serve as a rallying point, a focus that Seymour and mates can use. They are his Mexico wall and like the vacuous wall bullshit they will attract those who like to see blocks on the landscape and whose sight only reaches that far. Not that they can even imagine there is something further afield to behold I suppose.

        Reply
        • It’s waste of time trying to convince some people that David Seymour does NOT want all guns available to anyone who wants to buy one.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  12th July 2020

            “time trying to convince some people that David Seymour does NOT want all guns available to anyone who wants to buy one.”
            Where in their policy does it says that.
            They want the category E returned for semi automatics, they want looser registration than current and proposed laws.
            They dont want enhance vetting at all, but back to the ‘old system’…likely backed by the gun dealers money who were importing 50k guns per year.
            This astro turf ‘responsible fire arm owners group’ is really about advancing the gun importers interest

            Reply
        • Corky

           /  12th July 2020

          ”They are mainly about the societal conditions which cause them and see them a problem for all.”

          That perception may or may not be true. However, it is immaterial for two reasons: To change society across the board demands decisive action. No government is prepared to go down that path. So that argument is out.

          The other reason is the crime has been committed. That demands perpetrators are caught and their operation closed down. The ‘why and why not’ augments at this stage in the cycle are futile.

          ”Act comes up with flasher ambulances at the bottom of the cliff and knows they’ll get support for that and the bigger flasher more devastating clubs they want to provide to bash any inhumanity and perceived badness out of people.”

          What about the victims? The innocent? Do you care? My guess is you don’t. You placate yourself with the thought that if we make society right..everything will be alright – and it would be in an ideal world. But that world will never happen, so it’s always a great hook to hang your ideology on.

          ”Lowering personal tax, cutting the company tax rate to allow businesses to grow and encourage entrepreneurs, cutting wasteful spending of taxpayer’s money and
          championing free trade agreements, reduce red tape and reform the Resource Management Act?”

          To understand that you need to be in business; buying a house or dealing with the Council.That’s why socialist cannot get their heads around these measures. Our present government is a classic example. Maybe Labour would have been a better case study?

          ”You have to admit gangs serve at least one good purpose. Gangs serve as a rallying point, a focus that Seymour and mates can use.”

          Why not? Hell, Seymour could become a victim of his own success. That would be gangs off the election table in future elections.

          To put it succinctly…ACT is doing something. They know criminals don’t give a fugg about you and me. Pity Andy Little doesn’t understand that.

          Reply
          • duperez

             /  12th July 2020

            Act is doing something? I guess what they won’t be seeking to do is change society across the board because that demands decisive action. (Act and) No government would be prepared to go down that path. So that argument is out.

            I guess that means they won’t be lowering personal tax, cutting the company tax rate, cutting wasteful spending of taxpayer’s money, championing free trade agreements, reducing red tape and reforming the Resource Management Act and whatever else. They’ll be doing the most essential thing, bashing gangs.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  12th July 2020

              ”Act is doing something? I guess what they won’t be seeking to do is change society across the board because that demands decisive action. (Act and) No government would be prepared to go down that path. So that argument is out.”

              Correct. To do so would demand a collective agreement. Can you see socialists throwing their deadbeat own under the bus in order for society to progress? ACT will deal with the results of a less than perfect society. I think it’s called pragmatism…but certainly not idealism.

            • No person or party could change society across the board. That would mean changing human nature. It would be insanity to attempt it.

              The fact that a party has one policy doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have others, of course.

            • Blazer

               /  12th July 2020

              ‘The fact that a party has principles doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have others, of course.’

          • Blazer

             /  12th July 2020

            who does give a fugg about you Corky…= no one.

            Reply
  2. John J Harrison

     /  12th July 2020

    What a change.
    A politician with a very clear policy which the police can very easily execute.
    Of course our current ministers of Justice and Corrections will be absolutely distraught with ACT’s policy on gangs.
    Indeed one could be easily confused that the COL is a government with a policy of “ hug a thug.”
    Like the majority I was sickened to see our police force , daily, babysit gangs openly breaking the law with illegal road blocks over the past 4 months.
    A good start would be to appoint a new commissioner, one who is not a soaking wet liberal and one who upholds the law to protect the law abiding.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  12th July 2020

      stupid policy….contingent on illegal firearms.Hopeless.

      Try increasing resources for the S.F.O and go after the super parasites in society.

      Reply
      • These are different issues and different crimes.

        Fraudsters don’t usually kill their victims, and most people who make money are not doing it by fraud, contrary to what the envious imagine.

        Reply
    • Duker

       /  12th July 2020

      “openly breaking the law with illegal road blocks over the past 4 months.”

      No they werent, they used the law to their advantage
      On May 19, a traffic management plan was approved by NZT. It had [Superintendent] Hill’s name at the top as the applicant, along with Ngāti Kuri, and NZTA’s approval made the roadblock at Te Werahi legal.

      You clearly dont know your traffic management law
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12347280

      and why did Ngati Kuri do it ?
      “Those roadblocks were inevitable, says Stokes. “It was a really committed community. They were giving up their time and energy to be a part of it.” They told Stokes about why they were there. They showed him. Rows of graves, markers for those who died 100 years ago when the Spanish flu ripped through the North. The numbers of Māori dead were never properly recorded. Stokes saw “a lot of white crosses with no names because they didn’t even know who they had lost”.

      Reply
  3. From ‘fernglas’ at Kiwiblog:

    It seens from the release there has to be both commission of a crime such as drug dealing and possession of a firearm as well as gang membership before asset confiscation kicks in. The confiscation is then from the assets of the illegal operation. It doesn’t make sense that possession of a firearm should be needed before confiscation can take place. The provision that assets seized are those derived from that particular criminal operation doesn’t add much, if anything, to current law. So gang membership is also an unnecessary addition to the pre-conditions for asset seizure.

    If you want to target gangs, target them properly. All this policy seems to do is to create another route to criminal proceeds confiscation which looks more complex and harder to use than existing legislation.

    https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2020/07/act_targets_gangs.html#comment-2756762

    Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  12th July 2020

    Is there any evidence existing policy and law has been effective in controlling gangs?

    Or that this will be?

    All the anecdotal reports suggest not.

    Reply
  1. ACT Party – organised and more than one MP | Your NZ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s