Policy Announcements: Law & Order and Justice, Courts & Corrections

New Zealand First Policy Announcement:

Law and Order

New Zealand First believes that keeping society safe should be the priority of law-and-order policies. Every New Zealander deserves to feel safe, secure, and have their person and property respected. That is why New Zealand First continues to fix the flaws in our justice system, while ensuring that victims of crime are prioritised over offenders.

The safety of our communities is the first responsibility of government and includes the capabilities and resourcing of our police. New Zealand First is the only party with the record of seriously boosting police force numbers with the necessary funding, training, and personnel to meet the challenges of our growing population.  That is why in our last time of government we targeted an increase of 1800 new frontline police.  That commitment in its maturity saw 2338 new police trained.

New Zealand First will:

  • Commit to no less than 500 new frontline police in the first 18 months of government.
  • Double the number of Youth Aid officers.
  • Introduce minimum mandatory prison sentences for serious assaults police officers, corrections officers, and first responders.
  • Review Police pay and condition in order to maintain police numbers and to reduce attrition.
  • Adequately resource community policing including Māori and Pasifika wardens, and Neighbourhood Watch.
  • Introduce a Youth Justice Demerit Points System to tackle youth crime.
  • Review fleeing driver legislation and ensure adequate resourcing to curb the exponential increase in fleeing driver incidents.

Justice Courts and Corrections

New Zealand First will:

  • Prioritise the principles of the Sentencing Act to focus on the needs of the victim and the community, and lastly the offender.
  • Implement policies in our secondary education system to maximise driver licence qualifications amongst all young people and extend that provision for prisoners wishing to gain a licence while in prison. 
  • Fund tattoo removal for rehabilitated gang members in prison - whilst assigning that cost back to that prisoner if they replace those tattoos with other gang associated tattoos.
  • Increase the use of mandatory minimum sentences for serious violent and sexual offenders.
  • Introduce a 'degrees of murder' regime that utilises ‘life for life’ for 1st Degree Murder.
  • Remove community sentences or discounts (such as cultural reports) for violent offenders who are considered a threat to the community.
  • Establish a ‘Gang only’ Prison to reduce recruitment of non-gang prisoners and fund an additional 1,000 corrections placements.
  • Designate Gangs as ‘Terrorist Organisations’ under the Terrorism Suppression Act.
  • Include gang membership as an aggravating factor during sentencing.
  • Implement ‘prisoner-constructed prison portability units policy’ so that the costs of labour on such construction will be removed from the taxpayer to the prisoners themselves – as already happens in some overseas jurisdictions.
  • Introduce harsher penalties for fleeing drivers.
  • Review and work to increase the fines for lower-level crimes such as texting while driving and shoplifting.
  • Introduce an enforcement law for dangerous littering.
  • Introduce a ‘Youth Justice Demerits’ system to provide accountability and certainty of support for youth offenders, youth aid officers and law enforcement.
  • Introduce a greater range of non-custodial sentences such as the confiscation of specific property, larger and long-term reparation, payments, and fines.
  • Remove concurrent sentences for those who commit offences while on parole, on bail, or whilst in custody.
  • Investigate the applicability of operational funding to equip corrections officers with body cameras and appropriate protective equipment.
  • Provide consistency in legislation and replace the term ‘prison officer’ and ‘prison guard’ with ‘corrections officer’.
  • Provide a minimum mandatory cumulative prison term for assaulting Corrections Officers
  • Introduce Mental Health Response Units to adequately address Mental Health distress and life-threatening harm in the community.