Parliament is currently debating the Committee stage of the Wanganui District Council (Prohibition of Gang Insignia) Bill. We've watched some of the debate, and it's been quite revealing.
Labour opposes the Bill, and most of the debate has come from Grant Robertson, Moana Mackey and lately Steve Chadwick. Their dismissal of the Bill as bad law has been unconvincing, as have been their attacks on Act.
Metiria Turei spoke earlier, and we found her speech quite frightening, considering her aspirations to co-lead the third-largest party in the Parliament. She decribed the Bill as "racist" because it only targets non-white gangs, and that "white" gangs didn't wear patches. What rubbish! Gangs are not a racial problem; they are a social and criminal problem. In addition to the Mongrel Mob and Black Power, Wanganui has a chapter of Hell's Angels; on either side of Wanganui there are well-known "bikie" gangs - the Magogs from New Plymouth and the Mothers from Palmerston North. All wear their respective patches with pride and impunity. Turei's speech was nothing more than a racist dog-whistle.
We applaud Chester Borrows for bringing the Bill this far, with the support of Michael Laws. It is NOT perfect, but it is a start. The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu said "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step". It will indeed be a long journey to rid this country of criminal gangs, but if this legislation ultimately passes into law, it will, in our opinion be one important step along the way.