Brett Hudson: New Zealanders deserve a Government that delivers

Opinion 20/10/2019

By Brett Hudson, National Party Police Spokesperson, National Party List MP.

This Government isn’t great at follow through.

It says everything the New Zealand public wants to hear. 100,000 houses in 10 years. Light rail down Dominion Road in Auckland. A capital gains tax. The list goes on.

But when it comes down to the delivery, the part New Zealanders care about, this Government fails badly.

For example, take its promise to deliver 1800 additional Police Officers to the force. That is additional recruitment, accounting for police officers who leave each year.

The Government has been very clear on this promise.

Police Minister Stuart Nash has repeated it numerous times. The Prime Minister has doubled down on it too.

With gang membership on the rise and serious crime increasing, having these extra cops in our community is incredibly important.

But after two years, the Government has only managed to add 716. It knows it can’t make 1800 in less than a year. It can see another ‘failed to deliver’ headline.

So the Government shifted the goal posts.

Now Stuart Nash is simply counting every person who has been through the Police college and ignoring the many hundreds of experienced police officers who have resigned over the past two years.

This is a broken promise to New Zealanders.

He is failing the New Zealanders who want safer communities, but also the Police who have been planning for the additional resources.

The Police Association even came out and said if that’s the new goal, 1800 recruits through police college, then that’s reneging and deeply disappointing.

This is more than a humiliating defeat for the Government, which is more focused on PR and announcements than delivery.

This broken promise is more than its promise for a capital gains tax, a working KiwiBuild, light rail.

This is a broken promise around public safety and the ability for you to feel safe in New Zealand.

The problem comes down to the Government, it doesn’t have a plan when it comes to law and order.

Now more than ever it should be focused on ensuring there are enough police officers to stop criminals offending.

It doesn’t help when Stuart Nash claims his Government is ‘winning’ when it comes to reducing crime and cracking down on gangs.

In fact, it’s a slap in the face to the New Zealanders who can see more gang members on our streets, who can see more crime occurring, and who can see there aren’t enough Police on the streets to stop these criminals offending.

It doesn’t matter what the Prime Minister said to Winston Peters behind closed doors, she promised the New Zealand public 1800 more police officers, and she will fail to deliver on that promise.

This term of Government has been littered with Labour’s broken promises. New Zealanders deserve delivery from their Government. They deserve Minister who say they’ll do something, and actually achieve it.

This Government isn’t doing that.

Brett Hudson is the National Party's Police Spokesperson and List MP.