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Less than two weeks to go and it seems clear that Aotearoa is looking like leaning to the right, and good old Winston could once again be the king maker. 

I have followed the political electioneering very closely because a big chunk of the rhetoric going on is about law and order, obviously important to the safety of our communities but also the economic cost of spiraling crime is insurmountable. 

Have I seen any real standout solutions? For me the answer is no. `

Last week Christopher Luxon said on national TV his policy was to take gang patches off nine thousand gang members. I’m not sure what he thinks that will achieve but it certainly will not stop any crime that gangs are involved in, and I would suggest, as the chief political science advisor told Luxon earlier this year, targeted gang enforcement runs the risk of strengthening gang cohesion and reinforcing anti-social attitudes.

Youth crime is another big concern that I feel is not being addressed during this election. If we look at the statistics given to us by the Ministry of Justice, it leads us to believe that youth crime is declining, and the current spiral that the public is seeing is simply because there is more media focus on youth crime. I’m not sure if I really want to believe that but what I do know is that National and Act’s vision of Boot Camps have previously failed and are not the solution. We all need to remember that when National was last in power 80% of all youth that went through Boot Camps went on to reoffend. I would suggest that is a failure. 

Interestingly the Green Party have said the ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric coming from the main parties is wrong, saying they should be focused on the drivers of crime instead. I agree with this and agree that Aotearoa should be investing in building more facilities and focusing on community-led projects. It has been clearly proven when the community is resourced to step up in place of youth justice facilities, they are having better outcomes than youth justice facilities.” Good policy Greens. 

For me one of the big misses in this election is policing. How we are policed is so important. We all hear politicians repeatedly saying “we will put more police on the street and that is all very well, but where are the questions on how we are policed. Who holds the police to account when they make life changing mistakes, a lot of recent ones on purpose just to secure a conviction, but never to be held to account. Where is the political discussion on this? 

Act has made it clear that they intend on building more prisons, where the Maori party are talking of abolishing prisons completely. Meeting them in the middle, once again are the Green Party whose policy is to incorporate the Norwegian prison system where people live in normal houses, still detained, but treated like humans and rehabilitated. To me the benefits of this thinking is not only around human and successful rehabilitation but also the huge economic benefits to Aotearoa. 

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Social justice Aotearoa has been considering its public position over the past few months and have written policy around our vison of the judicial/policing future of Aotearoa. This policy is currently being signed off by our board we will be releasing in over the next six days, via Daily Blog. 

We see our policy as being user friendly but also holding all people involved in policing and the judiciary accountable for everything that happens within their department and consequences for breaking the law within the law. 

One big vision we have and will not back down from is independence within any government department and we are calling for all governments inquiry’s to be led by people who are not citizens of Aotearoa. 

In closing and with only two weeks to go before the election, I wanted to pick three seats that I think are going to be hard political fighting grounds. 

Tamaki Makaurau central.  National and Chloe Swarbrick what a battle that will be, also let’s watch Epsom as National are actively campaigning in Epsom instead of giving it to the Act Party and lastly Northland which will be Shane Jone’s last hoorah.

 

Jackie Foster, CEO, Social Justice Aotearoa


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