SPEECH: New ‘Flying Squad’ to halt lawlessness and organised crime
Whangamata public meeting
Whangamata Baptist Church,
301 Port Road,
Wednesday, 13 September, 2017
I want to recognise my fellow MP, Clayton Mitchell, and the New Zealand First candidate for Coromandel, Anne-Marie Andrews.
We last came to the Coromandel for a public meeting two months ago.
Just a week after that visit Thames and Coromandel lost one of its biggest employers – A & G Price foundry which shut down after operating for more than 140 years.
Since then many of the 100 workers who lost their jobs have been forced to move out of the Coromandel.
That is not good for the Coromandel.
What happened to that foundry must be borne in mind when the latest economic report for the Coromandel is considered.
That report is for the year up to June 2017.
It stated the Coromandel’s GDP over the year had grown 3.6 percent.
One newspaper said that as a result of this report “The sky’s the limit” for the Coromandel.
If all this is true things should be really roaring along.
But are they?
Houses for people who live here are becoming completely out of reach.
Coromandel is one of the most expensive regions in the country to buy a house.
Over the past year house prices have risen 19 percent.
In July, the Coromandel had the biggest rise in New Zealand for house prices with an 11.2 per cent lift compared to the previous month.
The average asking price for a house in the Coromandel is now a staggering $761,096, second only to Auckland in housing unaffordability in the North Island.
All reports we have read say your roads have got worse.
You have experienced wash-outs and closures.
The conditions of state highways on both the east and west coasts of the Coromandel have deteriorated.
And more traffic is flowing on them.
Things have got so bad NZTA found some money this week to spend for maintenance on your roads but it should never have got to this stage.
The reason your roads have become broken and pot-holed is obvious: serious lack of funding.
What is happening here is happening also in my electorate of Northland, and all over regional New Zealand.
Rural roads have become especially bad because the National government removed the rural roading subsidy in 2009 on the basis that the money was to go to Roads of National Significance.
Has Paula Bennett been brave enough to come back to the Coromandel?
You might recall when the Police Minister came earlier this year people made it known loud and clear to her that law and order was a problem and that there were not enough police in the Coromandel.
New Zealand First has statistics that showed between 2008 and mid-June 2016 there were 2545 burglaries in Whitianga, Thames, Paeroa and Coromandel Town but only 94 arrests had been made.
The pressure from the people of Coromandel and from New Zealand First questions forced Ms Bennett to announce an extra 880 police over four years.
It’s not trickle down but trickle in.
And it’s not enough.
New Zealand First will train 1800 extra police as soon as possible and get more police stationed in the Coromandel now.
Not in four years’ time.
We want you people, your homes and your property to be safe.
Police ‘Flying Squad’
To make this more possible we will establish a new 70-strong “Flying Squad” targeting criminals and lawlessness all over New Zealand.
It will be an elite police unit under the direct command of the Police Commissioner.
Being self-contained and mobile, it will directly assist communities and police districts by offering a targeted but heavier level of policing when called for.
Rampant outbreaks of lawlessness and organised crime are the focus.
So is helping communities in trouble with criminals and suffering from crime waves, like burglaries and violence.
A unit of this size means 24/7 policing with some eight officers on constant duty and that is a serious step-change.
The squad will made up of 56 police officers supported by 14 staff.
We believe this will put the heat on serious law breakers and most importantly, make our communities safer.
Big city obsession
The Coromandel and all of regional New Zealand are not a high priority for National and Labour.
They are big city parties with big city views.
Auckland and its massive problems stand first in the queue when it comes to getting their attention.
Roads, jobs, health services for regional New Zealand come well down National and Labour’s list.
Unlike National and Labour, New Zealand First hasn’t forgotten about you.
We have policies to revive and grow our regions.
Policies to help Coromandel
New Zealand First will help exporters, farmers, those who work in your valuable aquaculture industry and others by fixing the Reserve Bank Act.
• We will provide assistance for small businesses.
• One of the measures will be a wage subsidy for those who take on job seekers and provide work experience.
• We will provide immediate tax deductions for every new business asset costing under $20,000.
Visitor spending continues to grow here in Coromandel rising to $355 million in the past financial year.Under NZ First policy we will return the GST paid by international tourists in this region for tourism infrastructure and roads, and to stimulate job training and opportunities.
Also with our Royalties for the Regions policy, no less than 25 per cent of the royalties will go back to Coromandel.
Any water rights for exports in this region will pay serious royalties which will come back here.
We will make sure you receive adequate funding for health services and education.
New Zealand First will work to take the power out of Wellington and give it back to the regions like the Coromandel.
That is where this country earns its money and pays its way in the world.
You won’t find cows in Queen St; or pine trees in Lambton Quay, or sheep in Cathedral Square.
New Zealand First will give back to the regions what they deserve.
To turn political promises into reality all you need to do is buy some serious insurance in this campaign.
Take out some insurance now, vote for change and party vote New Zealand First.