Christopher Luxon promises tougher measures on crime, Kiri Allan says politicians should trust the judiciary to do its job

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jun 25, 2023 |

National Party Deputy Nicola Willis with leader Christopher Luxon

The National Party has unveiled its “Real Consequences for Crime” policy, pledging to implement a range of measures to send a strong message to criminals.

National Leader Christopher Luxon emphasised the need for tougher sentences and a justice system that holds offenders accountable.

Luxon expressed his concern over the alarming statistics that have emerged in recent years.

“In just five years, violent crime has increased by 33 percent, retail crime has doubled, and gangs are growing faster than the police force,” he stated, highlighting the urgent need for action.

One of the key components of the National Party’s policy is the imposition of a new 40 percent limit on the reduction of sentences by judges.

The party believes that the current practice of significant sentence reductions undermines public trust in the justice system and fails to reflect the true seriousness of the crimes committed.

Additionally, the National Party plans to reinstate the controversial “Three Strikes” law.

This law would ensure that offenders who have been previously convicted and warned for a serious offense, but commit a third offence, face the maximum penalty without the possibility of parole.

The party aims to provide clearer guidance to judges on exceptional circumstances where exceptions can be made.

The policy also seeks to make gang membership an aggravating factor in sentencing, recognising the role of organised crime in perpetuating violence and criminal activities.

Taxpayer funding for cultural reports, which some argue have been misused to achieve lighter sentences, will be discontinued.

The allocated funds, amounting to around $20 million over four years, will be redirected to support victims by providing increased funding for services like counselling and court transportation, resulting in a 29 percent boost to victim support funding.

Approximately 23 percent of prisoners serve their entire sentence on remand, and the party believes that utilising this time to address the underlying causes of offending will contribute to a reduction in re-offending rates.

Luxon affirmed that the National Party would provide additional funding for the recruitment and retention of prison officers to address capacity pressures if necessary.

Justice Minister Kiri Allan


Justice Minister Kiri Allan said National’s plan was un-costed.

“How many more people do we intend to send to prison? Are we looking at what kinds of costs are associated with it?

“It was kind of funny as I was thinking about what Steven Joyce would say to us. “You haven’t costed your policy…. you haven’t costed your policy…. and that is exactly what happened today.”

“They’re [National] wanting to cap the discretion of the judiciary and impose what the mandatory minimum sentence should be.

“The last time that a government tried to impose that type of policy was Three Strikes. There was no evidence that it worked – so we scrapped it.”

Kiri Allan said “I think it’s quite egregious that parliamentarians are trying to impinge on the judiciary, in that sense, we trust them to do their job, but that particular component feels like an over-reach.

“Our approach has been to make interventions early, provide wraparound support, the things that we’ve been doing with these kids that have been caught doing ram-raids.

“A lot of it doesn’t get put on to the front page of the paper, but it’s working. It’s literally wrapping these kids up it costs a lot, but it’s going to be a far lesser cost to the taxpayer” Kiri Allan said.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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