Prisons “a moral and fiscal failure”

Today’s Dominion Post editorial says that More prisons are not the answer.

A recent announcement from Corrections Minister Judith Collins claimed that levels of crime are down but, and this may seem paradoxical, the prison population is up. According to Collins, this necessitates a massive $1 billion plan to create another 1800 beds in prisons.

Cynics might wish that houses could be built with such speed and commitment.

Yet our imprisonment rates are already more than a third higher than Australia and the UK, with an alarmingly high number of reoffenders. Figures show that 69 per cent of people starting new sentences have been sentenced previously, according to Act leader David Seymour, who calls the “prison population blowout largely a reoffending blowout”.

Which is what the ‘3 strikes’, introduced by the Act Party, was supposed to address? Locking up more people for longer will inevitably lead to more prison beds unless something else changes.

Has ‘3 strikes’ failed to deter recidivist criminals?

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bill English famously called our prisons a “moral and fiscal failure”. That line has come back to haunt the Government. 

As it should. The Government continues this moral and fiscal failure.

Advocacy groups such as the Howard League argue persuasively that reoffending could decline if education and training was more accessible to prisoners, nearly 65 per cent of whom have literacy levels below NCEA level 1.

That’s a failure of our education system, and a failure of parenting.

By contrast with Corrections’ big spend, only a fraction of the $15 million recently allocated by Prime Minister John Key to tackle the methamphetamine problem will go towards treatment and education programmes in schools and prisons. Despite some gestures by this Government towards more sophisticated social investment approaches, the numbers tell a different story about populist, simplistic answers to complex crime and punishment questions.

Perhaps we need something different than prisons for drug addicts.

Something appears to be going badly wrong when our imprisonment rates are a third higher than Australia and the UK.

Talking tough may appease some lobby groups and voters. It’s a lot tougher finding solutions that work.

Building prisons is taking crime seriously?

Morning Report: Is Govt’s $1B figure for building 1,800 new prison beds far too low? We crunch the numbers with Judith Collins.


Interview (audio): Corrections Minister Collins on the prison muster blowout

It may more the consequence of reacting to pressure to increase prison sentences.

A minority of prisoners are straight out bad and may be beyond rehabilitation.

But many of those in prison are failures of our society. Locking away those failures doesn’t address the causes.


Prison numbers, big $s

Today the Government announced that ‘prison capacity’ will be increased by about 1800 beds on existing sites.

Stuff says it will cost $1 billion: Government’s $1b plans to sleep 1800 more prisoners creating ‘schools for crime’ – Labour

The Government’s plans to spend a billion dollars on more beds for New Zealand’s burgeoning prison population shows it is “deadly serious” about cracking down on methamphetamine and violent crime, Corrections Minister Judith Collins says.

Collins announced the plans for another 1800 beds around the country, saying that although levels of crime had reduced, the number of prisoners had increased “faster than projected”.

Government claims crime is reducing and reoffending rates have reduced by 7% so is this all due to longer sentences? Or what?

Prime Minister John Key said the higher prisoner numbers reflected the changing nature of crime, with the overall crime rate falling but violent and drug-related crimes on the rise.

“It’s a bit of an international trend: you saw overall crime rates falling internationally for a while and we were consistent with that, and they continue to fall in total numbers, but as I say, that hardened end [is] definitely going up a bit.”

Fewer crimes but more serious crimes, so longer sentences.

NZ Herald puts the cost at $2.5 billion – Tax cuts could be affected by $2.5b plan for more prison beds

The booming prison population will hit the Government’s books by an extra $2.5 billion over about five years – with Finance Minister Bill English saying it will “limit choices” about other spending.

The $1.8 billion surplus announced last week is just for one year.

Asked if the outlay could reduce possible tax cuts, English said, “it will have an impact because it’s a very large spend”.

“I wouldn’t want to judge that because it is a bit early. But certainly spending this kind of money on prison capacity is going to reduce other options.

“This is something that has to be done…we’d certainly prefer to be in a position where this wasn’t happening.”

Not surprisingly there has been a lot of criticism of money having to go into prison beds rather than hospital beds and other comparisons,

Government media release:

The Government has approved plans to increase prison capacity on existing prison sites by approximately 1800 beds, Corrections Minister Judith Collins says.

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison.

“We have to respond through new investment or we will create unacceptable safety risks for staff, prisoners and the public, and be less effective at rehabilitating prisoners.

“We’re already adding 341 prisoner places through the use of double bunking and converting facilities to accommodate prisoner beds. This is part of the financial commitment we made in Budget 2016 to Phase One of the Prison Capacity Programme, but as we look out over the next five years this will not be enough.

“To meet the growth in the prison population we need to invest in a further 1800 prisoner places in the network under Phase Two of the Programme, at a construction cost of around $1 billion.”

The Government has approved an increase in double bunking in the Northland Region Corrections Facility at Ngawha by 80 beds. It has also approved a new accommodation block to be built at Mt Eden Corrections Facility, adding 245 beds.

Ministers will next month consider a detailed business case for formal approval of a new 1500 bed facility at the existing Waikeria Prison in the Waikato. Corrections will also propose increasing the delivery of rehabilitation programmes including Drug Treatment Units, reintegration programmes, education and training programmes and Special Treatment Units to help address violent and sexual offending.

“Phase Two of the prison programme won’t be just in bricks and mortar but will also be aimed at the drivers of crime, drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence.”

The new facility at Waikeria Prison will be operated by Corrections but built and maintained by a Public Private Partnership, the same model currently being used by Corrections in building its new maximum security facility in the grounds of Auckland Prison.

“The construction of a new facility for around 1500 prisoners at Waikeria which could be delivered in two stages – would be a significant contribution to ensuring that Corrections can accommodate the forecast numbers of prisoners.”

Most of the forecast demand is expected to come from the upper North Island and Waikeria is in a good location to serve this demand. Being close to the areas of need reduces the costs of operating the prison network and helps keep prisoners close to family and support networks.

The Government is committed to ensuring value for money for taxpayers and all the proposed beds are on prison land where a lot of the infrastructure is already in place.

At Mt Eden Corrections Facility the earthworks platform already exists for the new structure. The current development was built with future expansion a possibility, and at Waikeria Prison there’s ample space for a facility to hold the increased number of prisoners.

“Getting this proposal underway now will help ensure the growth is well planned, and that the prison network can help keep our communities safe in the future.”



Police numbers game

With a by-election coming up in December, which will probably include a new party campaigning on law and order, and a general election next year, parties are throwing police numbers around.

Police Minister Judith Collins in a speech to the New Zealand Police Association Annual Conference this week:

The Government has also made significant recent financial investments in policing.  Budget 2016 delivered an extra $299.2 million to Police over the next four years, including $279.9 million to fund pay increases

And of course there are more 600 more officers on the beat than there were in 2009, and advances in technology and strategy have made our police much more efficient.

That said, there is no doubt that demands for Police services have increased considerably and there is pressure on Police resourcing.

I take that very seriously and I have been discussing this with Police and my colleagues for some time.

We’re still working through the numbers but recently the Prime Minister confirmed that the government is likely to increase the number of Police.

Will we see numbers announced before the by-election?

Labour threw down the gauntlet. Oddly it’s not on their website ‘Latest news’ yet (or anywhere that I can see on their website) but Andrew Little also spoke at the conference:

I am committed to lifting police numbers in the first term of a Labour Government.

Today, I am proud to announce that Labour will hire a thousand more Police officers in our first term.

There will be 1,000 more Police officers under a Labour Government I lead.

This will take total officer numbers to 10,000, and it will be enough to bring the Police to population ratio back below the international benchmark of 1 to 500.

We will work with police to prioritise these additional officers on the serious invasive and violent offences like assaults, sexual assaults, burglaries, and robberies, and of course, the scourge that is methamphetamine.

This increase will be fully funded.

We’ll boost the total Police Budget in line with the increase in officer numbers.

That means $180m more a year for policing once all the extra officers are recruited.

Nothing from the Greens website yet.

NZ First have been calling for more police for some time. Winston Peters will address the conference this morning.

Just more money isn’t enough

Judith Collins has stirred up a storm with her parental responsibility comments.

“It’s not that, it’s people who don’t look after their children, that’s the problem.

“And they can’t look after their children in many cases because they don’t know how to look after their children or even think they should look after their children.”

Monetary poverty was not the only problem, she said.

“I see a poverty of ideas, a poverty of parental responsibility, a poverty of love, a poverty of caring.”

As the MP for Papakura, she saw a lot of those problems in south Auckland, she said.

“And I can tell you it is not just a lack of money, it is primarily a lack of responsibility.

“I know that is not PC, but, you know, that’s me.”


There has been an uproar, including stupid misrepresentations like this at the Standard:

I see a poverty of ideas and a poverty of Government responsibility

Judith Collins yesterday said that child poverty is the fault of parents and not the fault of her Government.

That is quite clearly different to what Collins said. It is either a sloppy misunderstanding, or a deliberate misrepresentation.

While what she said was provocative and de-emphasised too much a lack of money as a problem for many people – money is a major problem for many good parents – what she said will be agreed with by many people.

The thing is that simply ensuring that poor people have more money on it’s own is not enough.

Many parents would use more money responsibly and for the benefit of their children, so more money is all that they need.

But there is a significant number of parents who smoke too much, drink too much, take drugs and all this is to the detriment of their finances and their children. Some simply don’t care about the well being of their children.

So simply giving some parents more money is going to do little or nothing for their their children.

Child ‘poverty’ is a complex issue and socialist style no questions asked equal income/equal housing/equal opportunities is not a practical nor workable solution.

Child poverty and parental responsibility

Judith Collins has revved up the child poverty debate, blaming it on, amongst other things, a lack of parental responsibility.

Not surprisingly this has stirred up a lot of debate.

RNZ: ‘I see… a poverty of parental responsibility’

Ms Collins was challenged at the Police Association’s annual conference in Wellington today by a delegate, who said poverty was making law enforcement harder.

The delegate said his officers had been very busy with gangs, which he said were often filled with people who had experienced poverty as children.

Ms Collins responded by saying the government was doing a lot more for child poverty in New Zealand than the UN had ever done.

In New Zealand, there was money available to everyone who needed it, she said.

“It’s not that, it’s people who don’t look after their children, that’s the problem.

“And they can’t look after their children in many cases because they don’t know how to look after their children or even think they should look after their children.”

Monetary poverty was not the only problem, she said.

“I see a poverty of ideas, a poverty of parental responsibility, a poverty of love, a poverty of caring.”

As the MP for Papakura, she saw a lot of those problems in south Auckland, she said.

“And I can tell you it is not just a lack of money, it is primarily a lack of responsibility.

“I know that is not PC, but, you know, that’s me.”

Collins is correct, to an extent, but it is much more complex than her provocative statements acknowledge.

There is not enough money available for many people and many families to have a comfortable lifestyle. Making ends meet is a constant and extremely challenging battle  for many.

Poverty of parental responsibility, poverty of love, poverty of caring are all issues adversely affecting many children. But so are mental health issues, drug abuse, health problems. And so are lack of regular reasonably paying job opportunities.

And especially in some areas housing costs and the availability of adequate housing.

I don’t know if Collins also spoke about these things.

But what has been reported has stirred up a storm of condemnation.

But overstating some aspects of a wide ranging problem are hardly any worse than overstating the degree of poverty and the number affected badly. It’s no worse than saying the Government doesn’t care about kids or poor people.

Collins provoked, possible off the cuff, possibly deliberately, and will probably cause a few Government headaches trying to deal with the fallout.

But what she said is no narrower and unfair than many of her and the Government’s critics.

There are serious issues that need to be dealt with better. But long lasting solutions won’t be easy, they won’t be quick and they are unlikely to be cheap.

Stuart Nash versus the constitution and the Police

Stuart Nash, Labour’s spokesperson for Police, was strongly criticised recently for comments made on the sentencing of Nikolas Delegat, including by law professor Andrew Geddis who said Nash was “calling for the undermining of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements”.

Pundit: Shut up, Stuart Nash (with added thoughts on the Nikolas Delegat case)

Stuart Nash is trying to make political hay out of Nikolas Delegat’s crime and punishment. The problem is, in doing so he’s calling for the undermining of New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements. That’s … not a good thing.

Here’s what the NZ Herald quotes Nash as saying:

Labour’s Nash said the Government should tell the Crown Law Office to appeal the “ridiculously light” sentence handed down to Nikolas Delegat for assaulting a policewoman.

“The Prime Minister and the Police Minister must come out and condemn the sentence as totally inadequate and state that Crown Law will appeal. This would send a very clear message that this type of behaviour against police will not be tolerated by our communities and offenders will be punished accordingly.”

There’s just so very, very much wrong with this. The Government can’t tell Crown Law to appeal anything. That decision lies in the hands of the Solicitor General, who is a non-political appointee.

Second, Ministers cannot come out and “condemn [Delegat’s] sentence as totally inadequate”.

What Stuart Nash is calling for here is Ministers to completely ignore fundamental precepts of our constitution. Now, I get why he is doing so – he’s seeking to capitalise on some widespread outrage with how Delegat was treated (more on that in a moment).

But the fact is that the Government cannot and should not do what he’s saying it should, and he’s completely out of order to demand that it do so.

A party spokesperson for Police should know these things.

More problems for Nash with publicity about him attacking Police officers.

Early yesterday via Newstalk ZB: Stuart Nash in stoush with Police top brass

A skirmish between Labour and the police has blown up into an all-out war of words.

Deputy Commissioner Viv Rickard has written to Labour leader Andrew Little, complaining that Napier MP Stuart Nash is going too far in his criticisms of Eastern District Commander Sandra Venables.

Mr Nash said he’s raising issues that the community wants addressed, but admits he possibly shouldn’t personally target the District Commander.

“She might not be allowed to come out and say MP Stuart Nash is wrong and I refute this, I’d like to meet him at dawn with pistols.”

“But what she can do is start taking a really proactive stance on communicating with the community.”

Nash said he might make future criticism less personal, but he still stands by his criticisms of police leadership.

The Deputy Commissioner has had enough, saying Stuart Nash is repeatedly attacking someone who isn’t allowed to reply publicly, and that he’s incorrectly blaming the District Commander for the problems he sees.

Judith Collins had a dig at Nash

Police Minister Judith Collins thinks something very simple is behind Labour’s criticisms.

“Well I think they both probably have a problem with strong women.”

After his strong criticisms and response Nash softened somewhat later in the day.

Stuff: Labour’s Stuart Nash under police fire over his attacks on the Eastern District Commander

Labour’s police spokesman Stuart Nash is backing down on his sledging of a District Commander after police attacked his behaviour in a letter to Labour leader Andrew Little.

“By and large my criticisms aren’t based on what people tell me, they’re based solely on statistics,” he said.

Little and Nash have met to discuss the letter from Deputy Commissioner Viv Rickard, which was also posted on the internal police bulletin board, and Nash says a decision not to mention Venables name in future was his.

“What I’ve said to Andrew, what I’ve promised to do is that I will not mention the District Commander by name again and I’ll confine my severe criticisms to the Police Minister and the lack of funding,” Nash said.

“It’s what I suggested as the best way forward.”

Collins pinged him again:

Police Minister Judith Collins said Nash is in the wrong and “needs to stop it and act more professionally”.

“He needs to stop attacking a senior police officer or any police officer who is not actually able to defend themselves publicly,” she said.

Nash’s plan to change tack and concentrate his criticism on Collins was a sign he has a “problem with strong women,” Collins said.

Andrew Little…

…said he supported Nash “who is doing his job as a local MP” but they had agreed he would keep his focus in the political arena and in particular on the Police Minister.

That’s a wishy washy ‘support him doing his job but he will change how he does it’ sort of comment, and doesn’t reflect the message he brought back from Canada of presenting a positive party.

Delegat case and rushing to judgment

The Police and then the Court took 18 months to charge Nikilas Delegat and process his case through our legal system. They rejected Delegat’s attempts to get name suppression and to get a discharge without conviction.

The resulting sentence has been widely criticised.

Labour MP Stuart Nash wants the Police Minister Judith Collins to intervene – Newstalk ZB: Stuart Nash: Govt should intervene in Delegat case

Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash has called on Police Minister Judith Collins to direct the Crown to appeal the Nikolas Delegat sentence.

Nash said the Government should tell the Crown Law Office to appeal the “ridiculously light” sentence handed down to Nikolas Delegat for the assault.

Nash wants Ms Collins to speak publicly about the sentence, given her strong comments about assaults on police in 2010.


…Ms Collins said she could not comment on the Delegat case because it was a judicial decision which was still within the period in which an appeal could be lodged.

“I’m not going to pre-empt that. That would be to interfere in the operation of the courts, it would be a breach of the Cabinet manual and could, in fact, completely stuff up any appeal rights that the Crown might have.”

As I understand things Collins is right and Nash should now how our judicial system works and how the Government should not interfere in the process, at least not unless exception circumstances are involved and certainly not if an opposition MP rushes in and grandstands straight after a sentence is announced.

Today’s Herald editorial: Delegat case – system must resist rush to judgment

The sentence given to Nikolas Delegat for assaulting a policewoman has been widely condemned.

An alcohol-fuelled Delegat hit Kane at least four times on March 26 last year. In the same incident, Delegat attacked a security guard at the University of Otago campus and lashed out at arresting police officers. He first appeared in court five days after the attack when he was charged with the aggravated assault of Kane, an offence carrying a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment.

The Appeal Court dismissed Delegat’s suppression case last November and the case went back to the Dunedin District Court in June, when the aggravated assault charge was downgraded to assaulting a police officer with intent to obstruct her in the execution of her duty. The offence carries a three-year jail term.

Delegat admitted the charge but this week Judge Kevin Phillips rejected his plea for a discharge without conviction for what he termed “a very serious assault”. The judge also was critical of Delegat’s approach to a restorative justice conference, saying the teenager had 18 months to do something about it.

The response has been widespread and vocal.

Critics of the sentence complain it is too light. Greg O’Connor, president of the Police Association, said if Delegat had been poor and brown and from South Auckland, he would have gone to jail. Labour MP Stuart Nash wants Crown Law to appeal the judgment.


Delegat is a first offender, and his sentence does not appear out of line, whatever the Police Association might have to say. Critics of the sentence were not present for the hearing, and do not possess all the facts. It is appropriate that decisions of the courts get public scrutiny. It is just as appropriate that the system resists any rush to judgment.

Delegat may appeal, and the Crown may appeal. These things take longer than a reactive social media and grandstanding politicians.

Whether the sentence was appropriate or not is up for the parties involved to consider and accept or oppose as they see fit, through the Court, not through the cauldron of public and political opinion.

Lawyer Graeme Edgeler responded to some of the reactions.

Newshub: Why was Delegat’s sentence so much lighter than Maikuku’s?

Because if it was the same, he’d have gotten 50% more than the maximum penalty for the charge he faced?

What sentence should a 1st time offender get if they plead guilty to an offence carrying a 6 month maximum sentence?

  • 9 months’ prison
  • something else

NZ Herald: Police Association: If Nikolas Delegat were poorer he would have received a harsher sentence

If he were poorer, he probably wouldn’t have made the news.


3 strikes, 3 years for burglary?

Burglaries are a growing concern. yesterday Duncan Garner tweeted:

Clarification; on Saturday in I said burglaries were up almost 12% in one year. I was wrong. Stats NZ just told me it was 14%

Yesterday the Dominion Post editorial: No easy answer for burglaries

The police brass estimates that they currently get an officer to 70 per cent of burglaries. Unfortunately, they solve many fewer than that – about 9 per cent of those recorded.

On the face of it, a guarantee of attendance by the police seems an obvious response. Yet criminologists and those who represent police officers agree that simply attending burglaries does not offer a sure bet of improvement.

There are no witnesses to most burglaries, so catching the offenders is difficult. A low resolution rate is not unique to this moment, nor to New Zealand; it is, to some extent, just the nature of burglaries.

On the other hand, as criminologist Greg Newbold points out, sending officers to follow up on what most people regard as an invasive crime can be reassuring to victims. Failing to send them, meanwhile, can breed cynicism – among those affected, their neighbours, and perhaps even those committing the crimes.

It may not be as bad as it sounds.

Still, as Collins was at pains to point out a couple of days after her announcement, burglary numbers over the past year have defied the trend and leapt upwards – by about 12 per cent nationally.

Some of this increase appears to be down to a methodological change in how burglaries are counted. Some may be due to more scrupulous counting by the police in the wake of the scandal over doctored burglary counts in Counties-Manukau in 2014. Certainly other police statistics suggest that recent burglary numbers remain far lower than they were in the mid-1990s, despite a much larger population.

But we still have a significant problem.

The Police Association says it reflects deeper currents of drug and gang crime. Whatever the cause, and however hard the solutions, burglary is certainly a crime that causes public anxiety – and thus political peril. Collins’ populist intervention – and her decision to draw attention to a rising category of crime happening on her watch –  is a clear signal she is aware of that.

Collins should also be aware of a proposal from ACT’s David Seymour – 3 strikes for burglary. This is outlined in the latest ACT Free Press.

Burglary Up
Burglary is up and even National MPs’ electorate offices are now being burgled. The police minister says that the police will now attend every burglary, but what will that mean?  Police generally know what is happening on their patch and prioritise accordingly.  We doubt that attending every burglary will increase the resolution rate because most burglaries are carried out by professionals too smart to leave traces.  We wonder what other crimes police will now not attend to.

Unless the number of front line police officers is increased more time spent on burglaries will mean less time spent on other crime.

Three Strikes for Burglary
Earlier in the year ACT tabled its Three Strikes for Burglary bill, but other MPs objected to it being debated.  The policy is very simple: with resolution rates as low as they are, you have to commit a lot of burglaries to be convicted three times, so you should be sentenced to three years.  ACT’s Three Strikes for violent and sexual offences has been a success at reducing reoffending for those crimes.  ACT will continue campaigning for a Three Strikes rule for burglary.

Is 3 strikes, 3 years for burglary worth considering? Should we keep recidivist burglars off the street and out of our homes for longer?

Arrogant, complacent Government

It’s not unusual for Governments to become more arrogant and complacent the longer they are in office.

It’s even less surprising when the main opposition party is weak, at risk of weakening further, and has failed to have good leadership for eight years (and four leaders).

Duncan Garner writes An aloof Government and some criminally bad spin doctoring.

If you ever want to see a government attempt to spin its way out of trouble then wait for the annual release of the crime statistics.

And on cue came National’s Oscar-winning performance this week.

Except no-one was fooled. It was bad comedy. They simply got handed the gong for the all-time international award for ‘bullshitters of the century’.

The ‘criminally bad spin doctoring’ was the announcements by Judith Collins and John Key that the Police were going to do a bit more about burglaries, and then a day or two later we find out that crime statistics show that burglaries have increased significantly.

…crime is creeping up and the Government is seriously exposed on the rates of burglaries.

There were a staggering 11,000 new victims of crime in the past year. Burglaries are up almost 12 per cent in just one year. And only one in 10 burglaries are resolved. Crime clearly pays.

It’s hard not to think this Government has become dangerously complacent: out of touch and aloof in too many areas.

It’s quite easy to think that. In part because it’s obvious that they are slipping into aloofness and out of touchness. And in part because they aren’t even spinning with any conviction any more.

Surging house prices is a classic example of this.

Housing Minister Nick Smith sneered this week that he hadn’t even bothered to read the latest OECD Housing Affordability report – which says our houses are now the most expensive in the world.

You’re clueless minister – I’m not sure what’s worse: that you don’t have any solutions, or that you don’t give a toss. Incompetent? Or just arrogant? Both, clearly.

There’s a growing perception that Smith’s and the Government’s handling of housing has been hopeless and hapless.

The one thing in their favour on housing is that many people will quite like the value of their properties escalating.

National got caught out this week trying to spin its way out of trouble.

But the truth is there is more crime and fewer police per head of population, compared to when National arrived in office.

For the party of law and order – I say they’re guilty of complacency and taking their eye off the ball, at the very least.

The problem for national with crime is that the vast majority of voters are victims or know victims or sympathise with victims.

There’s no counterbalance to the Government dropping the ball on crime.

This is exacerbated by the previous portrayal of Judith Collins as being tough on crime – the crime Crusher.

And all she can say now is that suddenly the Police will start actually attending every burglary to try to stem a crime wave – or try to stem a wave of bad PR.

Many aspects of property values are out of central Government’s control or very difficult to get under control.

The level of resources given to the Police and the focus of the Police is very much under the control of Government. If they keep fluffing that and if the remain out of touch about how us the people feel about increasing crime then voters may give up on them regardless of the governing alternative.

Arrogance and complacency in general is risky enough for a stale Government.

Failure to keep crime under some semblance of control could easily result on the jury of voters condemning Key’s tenure.