How many gentle Waiheke stoners will Anne Tolley arrest? Why the new gang laws aren’t what they seem



I am always terribly suspicious whenever a politician declares new laws to fight ‘da gangs’. This Government in particular has been very effective in passing Orwellian mass surveillance powers all under the guise of fighting ‘da gangs’ and I suspect this latest announcement of getting tough on ‘da gangs’ is just another assault on our civil rights masquerading as get tough on crime rhetoric for the election.

First let’s point out the absurdity of passing more tough on crime laws when the crime rate is at a 35 year low.  God forbid what National would be suggesting if the crime rate was actually high. Summary execution for anyone caught breaking 8pm curfew in South Auckland?

I think the first trick of eroding our civil rights without us really noticing is the language. For example, you could read this…

“We want to ensure that Police and other agencies have the tools they need to hold gangs to account, while breaking the cycle of offending by preventing young people from joining these organisations, and helping current members to exit gang life.

“As gangs continue to expand and adapt, law enforcement and legislation needs to be strengthened, while we also require a long-term plan to address what is a complex issue, to halt the intergenerational grip which gang life has on families, and to reduce the number of victims, both within these families and in the wider community.”

Known members of gangs comprise 0.1 per cent (4,000 people) of the population aged 17 and over, but in 2013 were responsible for 25 per cent of homicide related charges and in the first quarter of 2014 have been charged with:

  • 34 per cent of class A/B drug offences
  • 36 per cent of kidnapping and abduction offences
  • 25 per cent of aggravated robbery/robbery offences
  • 26 per cent of grievous assault offences

These gang members average 53 offences in their lifetime, and the 50 members with the highest number of charges average 229 charges each.

…and you could be totally forgiven for believing that this was a justifiable and strong move against those awful gangs and what are you going on about you bleeding heart pinko.

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You’d be forgiven for that.

Anne Tolley’s language conjures up images of the Mongrel Mob, Black Power, the Head Hunters, Triads, etc etc. That’s why it’s so terribly deceptive, because the definition of ‘a gang’ is the following…

“As per the “Gangs and Organised Crime Bill 10-2 (2009)” dictates: Every person commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years who participates in an organised criminal group—

“(a) knowing that 3 or more people share any 1 or more of the objectives (the particular objective or particular objectives) described in paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (2) (whether or not the person himself or herself shares the particular objective or particular objectives); and

“(b) either knowing that his or her conduct contributes, or being reckless as to whether his or her conduct may contribute, to the occurrence of any criminal activity; and

“(c) either knowing that the criminal activity contributes, or being reckless as to whether the criminal activity may contribute, to achieving the particular objective or particular objectives of the organised criminal group.”


…that’s right ladies and gentlemen. The definition of a ‘gang’ isn’t the Mongrel Mob or Black Power or Head Hunters, the definition is 3 people who know each other. We’ve handed vast unchecked search and surveillance powers to the Police  because we were all told they would be used against the bad people, the truth is that under the Police definition of who a gang is, it opens up almost everyone in NZ.

With that in mind, this new crack down starts looking a little less warm and a lot more chilly…

  • A multi-agency Gang Intelligence Centre led by Police to collect and combine intelligence on real-time gang activity to support investigation, prevention and enforcement, while also identifying vulnerable children and family members who may need social service support. It will also identify young people at risk of joining gangs, so that agencies can target interventions to help steer them away from gang life.

That sounds an awful lot like real time mass surveillance, and seeing as a gang is defined as 3 people who know each other, you could end up via social media friend networks being able to spy on a huge chunk of NZers. In real time.

For ‘investigation’ and ‘prevention’ with ‘enforcement’ coming up last. That’s an awful lot of probing and spying on people who haven’t in fact been found guilty of anything that we are just handing over to the Police and in light of them having 7 servers based in NZ from the Corporate Hacking company that specialise in mass surveillance for Police Departments, it seems plans have been laid in place for sometime.

There is the usual talk of seizing peoples assets. Let’s not get too excited about that and a far lot more concerned. Firstly the promised millions never eventuate...

Not one cent of the millions of dollars worth of assets seized from criminals has been funnelled into drug treatment or resources to fight organised crime as promised when the enabling law came into force.

Nearly $150 million worth of homes, cars, boats, cash, jewellery and other valuables has been restrained since the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act was passed in December 2009, of which $27 million has been forfeited to the Crown.

Of that, just $10.2 million has actually been placed in the Government coffers, according to figures released under the Official Information Act.

Secondly, the Police have managed all this asset grabbing by lowering the evidential threshold from beyond reasonable doubt to balance of probabilities. That allows the Police a frightening amount of power to seize your assets on bugger all evidence. Where are ACT and all our free-market-small- Government-property-ownership-trumps-all-zealots protesting about that remarkable upgrade of state powers over the individual?

Why the hell is Jamie Whyte screaming about Maori being privileged French aristocrats when the State has reshaped the entire power dynamic between itself and the individual?

Just when you thought this encroachment on our Civil Liberties was over, Anne Tolley mentions this oddity near the end of her declaration of war on us all…

To prevent and disrupt drug trafficking within New Zealand and between the North and South Islands, Police and Justice will investigate a pilot of drug detector dogs at key domestic ports (maritime and air).

Pray tell Anne isn’t declaring war on the gentle Waiheke stoners? Cops with drug dogs stationed at Ferry’s? When will it be trains and public buses? Seeing as cannabis is the most used illegal drug in NZ, are we certain giving the Police the power to randomly sniff search you in public is a step in the right direction here?  Isn’t that a bewildering jump in the war on drugs to allow drug searches in public?


So let’s just see, if I can just get this entire cluster fuck completely straight? After the NZ Police blew $14million dollars on spying in the Urewera Terror raid‘, they had to find ‘Maori and lefty terrorists’ to justify that extraordinary budget blow out. Finding those ‘terrorists’ however required illegal spying. John Key responds to that illegal spying by ramming through retrospective legislation that removes all guilt by the cops for illegally spying AND it gives them vast new powers to break into people’s homes and spy on them with the barest of legal oversights. John Key does this again when the GCSB are caught illegally spying on over 80 NZers and rams through law that legalises mass surveillance by the GCSB which it now seems post-Snowden  is effectively being run by the NSA.

In the shadow of that clusterfuck, we now get told that the Police will have more powers to spy on more of us all under the guise of protecting us from organised crime???


The only ones happy with yesterday’s announcement will be the sleepy hobbits who believe anything National tell them, the secret intelligence agencies of NZ who are about to fulfil their franchise agreement with the NSA to be the first fully surveilled country in the world and the private prisons who will see higher profits with increased incarceration rates.



  1. Thanks Martyn for breaking it down and making it so easy to see what they are up to. I have to tell you that the dogs at public bus stops are already in action. They use them at the bus stop across the road from the ferry wharf already, while travelling on Naked Bus we were told that if we were carrying anything illegal, it was risky because their passengers are subject to random dog searches.

    • Drug laws are human rights abuse as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our Governments are fascist human rights abusers. How is this being allowed to be continued?

  2. Anyone with sense will see this policy as what it is: a desperate pre-election lure for the “hang ’em from the highest tree” brigade in response to National’s falling performances in the latest polls. The need to effectively deal with organized crime has not just arisen in the last few weeks, it has always been there, it is nothing new. The most effective way to deal with organized crime is to have a good, properly funded and properly trained police force and justice system. National has gutted the police force and turned it into their own private task force – mostly for following Kim Dotcom around. If organized crime is as bad as National claims, then they have been in government for six years and the fault is theirs.

  3. How long will it take them to start seizing property or children because in all probability the people raising them and said children will become gang members? On a lighter but still serious note…. ‘as per the gangs and organised crime bill….didnt they just describe themselves, and failed finance groups etc?

  4. “Seeing as cannabis is the most used illegal drug in NZ, are we certain giving the Police the power to randomly sniff search you in public is a step in the right direction here?”

    I imagine this is exactly what the police have in mind here. While at least in some parts of the world there is a move towards decrimininalisation of marijuana, in New Zealand they are trying to make it more and more difficult to use. They will never win as they would have to have a sniffer dog on every street corner (metaphorically speaking) . But attacking marijuana smokers is one way to attack sections of the left wing and a lot of generally free thinking people who don’t kowtow to the repressive conservativism that the far right of society is trying to make the norm in New Zealand.

  5. A de-spirit policy. Enough to drive you to drink, which BTW is exactly what it intended to do.

    Drug policy, particularly as it applies to cannabis, is the core, crucial and critical social policy adjustment that is required to be made to reduce alcohol related harms and lower the crime rates and improve health outcomes.

    Escaping the scrutiny is the former Justice Spokesperson, (who had a lot to say then) who matriculated into Minister of Health under whose warrant ALL DRUG POLICY is enforced.

    Addiction academics described Ryall as ‘disinterested’.

    Oh no…. that was by design. Ryall was questioned on this matter when at a public meeting leading up to his portfolio in waiting in the now damaged provincial chambers in Christchurch. Doctors heard his reply. It had NO FOUNDATION IN SCIENCE, EVIDENCE, or EXPERIENCE. He was patently unqualified. Living proof National needs DRUGS to get elected. And this election is shaping up the same way. National is Drug Dependent and as Delusional. For if more prohibition (and expenditure) was going to work we would have seen, after quadrupling of resources some measure of attenuation of the problem. This latest announcment is by any standard, proof evidential that the drug by drug policy is a failure.

    We have been blessed with a legacy of health ministers who, either before or after have a police, justice, crime portfolio. How long ago is it that we had a ‘Medicine Man’ as Minister in Charge and why might that be?

    The best evidence and science demonstrates that the harder you come down on cannabis the more methamphetamine enters the market.

    Our drug policy is deviancy amplifying… and thats JUST HOW NATIONAL LIKES IT.

    It is a JUST US policy…..

    Don’t vote for failure, you just reward it.

  6. My first take on this is more simple, National are worried that people are starting to question the illusion of low crime because it certainly doesn’t feel that way. This is pure unadulterated window dressing because its election year. And the proof is there is no increased budget for the police.

    With each murder that happens especially in West Auckland this government knows damned well that their misleading lying crime statistics are being undermined.

    So reach for the pointless gang law distraction, sound tough, sound decisive, we aren’t going to take this shit no more and to Anne Tolley and her equally substanceless government, job done.

    Proof I believe that this government think we are all a bunch of imbeciles.

  7. This law is a breach of the Human Rights Act.

    We can all just ignore it because of that.

    They are trying to prevent a riot or revolution after the election is all.

    But actually it won’t stop anything. Rioters and revolutionaries pay no mind to the rules implemented by the dictatorship.

    The law can only affect those who have been gas-lighted by this Nazi styled government.

    Opinion and belief.

  8. But I’ve known ever since the Muldoon era that the New Zealand Governments of all stripes have been soft on gangs and tough on the law abiding. Of course they’ve been soft on gangs. Why on God’s green earth would they seek to extirpate the very justifications for enacting these kinds of laws? Of course in practice they would not include political parties (gangs), nor the Police Department (just another gang), oh dear me no.

    Which reminds me: On September the 12th 2001, Helen Clark must have gone down on her knees weeping tears of gratitude to the the Gods that allowed the acts of atrocity in the USA the day before. The then Labour administration fell over themselves depriving me of my civil liberties for the sake of their own terrified shrinking skins.

    But, hey, what are governments these days but a protection racket?
    Show me a politician, I’ll I will point out a politician-shaped volume that woul;d be more wholesome without the politician.

  9. Into August. Snippet on the news. “Wow, what a strong Minister of Gangs we’ve got.” “Wow, what a decisive government we’ve got.”

    Free election broadcast. More to come.

  10. This is really terrible. On top of rogue aircraft operators, a hot air balloon tragedy, car thefts, hijackings, abductions,etc, the unwary tourist gets sniffed at by a big scary dog whilst on a bus trip. No one will return to, or recommend a country which harbours these kinds of delights.

  11. The motivation behind this , it’s an election ploy, an old one, but still an effective one, to con the blind Tory’s into thinking they are doing the community good, controlling policy’s are the best ones for the Fascist Party because in reality, that’s what their long term agenda is all about.They want total control over the masses,to be able to cull and incarcerate the human population and take us back to where the world was, just before slavery ended.( ‘they’ hated the fact that they had to pay real money to men who slaved their backs into the ground) to them, a man, another human being, was nothing more than equal to a shovel ,spade and axe.. “They” want a world where everyone, especially the weak minded, are easy to control, easily manipulated into submission. ‘They’ are almost there, only a few more decades and all who have been in denial will end up eating the egg off their faces.. Unfortunately it will be in full swing even before their deluded minds will realise…It’s slowly but surely happening now,and this government wants to be a world leader..

  12. when you mentioned facebook & social networking ‘friends’
    added to your figures of actual gangs (verses groups)
    times 3 (if you add the theory of 3 degrees of separation
    being that every person is connected by persons via a friend, of a friend ,of a friend) – it makes me sick the mission creep. a ‘friend’ on facebook is all they need to count as a contact, they hop on like little crabs (the STD Kind!). compounded with the info you pointed out which is a lamestream media gag (of the gimp kind) about N.Z police needing 7 (spy) servers ,thats creepy ……. if I told a friend online about tips avoiding a parking tickets at a car park & they tell their friend who tells another then we are an organised gang sharing a common goal – maybe the councils will do helicopter raids over tickets if this mission creep keeps scurrying under peoples noses

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