Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024
christopher luxon latest

We’re fast approaching the sixth-month mark of the formation of our government, and I hope that Kiwis clearly understand our priorities by now.
Our team is laser focused on rebuilding the economy and reducing the cost of living so more New Zealanders can get ahead.

We are determined to deliver better public services like health and education, and you might have seen Finance Minister Nicola Willis talking about how both will receive a funding increase in next week’s Budget.

And we are absolutely committed to restoring law and order in this country.
Like all New Zealanders, I am sick of hearing stories about Kiwis who are the victims of violent attacks. I am sick of good citizens going to work worrying about when their business will be the next ram raid target. And I am sick of gang members acting as though they are above the law.
Sadly, New Zealand has become less safe after six years of soft-on-crime policies from Labour, where victims have not been prioritised.
Since 2018, gang membership has increased by 51 per cent, violent crime is up 33 per cent, ram raids have nearly quadrupled, and reports of retail crime have doubled.
Our government has committed to a very different approach to what we’ve seen over the last six years.
For us, making New Zealanders safer and reducing the number of victims is part of how we measure our success.

We’ve shown our commitment by focusing two of this government’s nine priority targets on restoring law and order. The first is to make sure there are 20,000 fewer victims of violent crime by 2029, and the second is to reduce serious youth offending by at least 15 per cent.
Without targets there is no motivation. I have made it clear that all agencies meet the targets of this Government.

Alongside this, we have an ambitious legislative agenda to get our law-and-order settings right. Our goal of keeping you safe is at the heart of the changes we’re making, and include:
• Three Strikes coming back,
• Ending public funding of Section 27 reports,
• Adding 500 new police officers to the front line,
• Putting gangs on notice and giving police substantial new powers to go after them,
• Establishing military academies for the most serious and repeat youth offenders, and changing the Sentencing Act so serious offending means serious consequences.

We will also remove the prison reduction target put in place by the previous government. That means that more violent repeat offenders will be put into prison. Putting more people behind bars is not something we want to do, but the increase in violent and retail crime has shown it is necessary in order to keep everyday Kiwis and retailers safe.

We have announced a $1.9 billion investment to increase the capacity of our prisons. This funding will go toward a range of initiatives, including hiring more corrections officers, and paying them more for the important work they do.

We will also invest in rehabilitation for remand prisoners to reduce re-offending and we will deliver an 810-bed expansion at Waikeria Prison.
Investing in Corrections will allow us to manage the growing prison population, protect New Zealanders, and give offenders the support they need to make positive change in their lives.

Ensuring our prisons are better resourced makes good sense. Victims of crime can have confidence that offenders who pose a risk to others will be effectively dealt with.

This is an investment in the safety of New Zealanders, and one that this Government is proud to make. -Christopher Luxon, Prime Minister of New Zealand


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