Cost of living crisis drives cash rate to seven year high – The Spinoff

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There’s “no silver bullet” to curbing gang activity and growing gun violence.

That’s the message from the new ministers for police and justice, who have just unveiled a suite of proposed changes they hope will ease firearms crime.

But while Chris Hipkins and Kiri Allan say the measures will “make a difference”, they weren’t prepared to say they’d take responsibility if gun violence doesn’t lessen in the wake of the proposed changes.

“My message to people who are concerned about the escalating level of gang activity across the country is so are we, and we’re taking measures that will make a difference, we’ll continue to look at more things we can do,” said Hipkins in response to a question from The Spinoff.

“This is not just simply a one-off, this is not going to suddenly mean that gang-related activity disappears overnight.”

Hipkins said the government also wanted to “choke off the supply of new recruits” and was planning further announcement on this in the medium term.

As for when these changes will be implemented, Hipkins said he was anticipating a “relatively speedy” legislative process. “We can’t simply announce something and then say it’s the law, but we’ll be aiming to make it as efficient as possible,” he said.

Kiri Allan and Chris Hipkins (Photo: Stewart Sowman-Lund)

It was hoped, said Hipkins, that the announcement would get backing from parties across parliament. He had not yet canvassed the opposition but was “optimistic” he would get their support.

Minister Allan said National’s Chris Bishop had told her he was “impressed” with some elements of the package, particularly around the new offence for gun intimidation. Bishop confirmed to The Spinoff he had indicated some of the announcement seemed “promising” during a panel appearance on Today FM this morning.

But a press release in the name of National’s Chris Penk showed little support for the government’s gang crackdown. “The announcements today simply tinker around the edges of a problem that the government is not taking seriously,” he said. “The new proposals don’t go far enough. We need to back police and give them the tools they need to tackle gangs so our communities can feel safe again.”

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