As predicted by TDB – Simon Bridges launches his campaign for leadership against Coster 


As predicted by TDB, Simon Bridges launched his campaign for the leadership of national with a rollicking attack on the Police Commissioner at Select Committee…

Bridges v Coster: Top cop in fiery spat with National MP over gang numbers and ‘policing by consent’

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster refused to take several attacks by National MP Simon Bridges lying down when he came to a select committee on Thursday.

The temperature of the exchange, which took place days after Bridges called Coster a “wokester”, got so heated that Bridges asked Coster to treat gang members as firmly as he treated members of parliament.

Bridges, the former leader of the party, earned a reprimand from leader Judith Collinsover his attack on Coster earlier this week, when Bridges called Coster a “wokester” with a “softly, softly approach”.

The attack came days before Coster was due to appear before the Justice Select Committee for the agency’s annual review.

…you can either read the insights here first or wait for the mainstream media to read it here and then write about it the next day.

The biggest mistake the Left and the Government could do right now is write off the concerns of those NZers being forced to live with the blight of the 501s. Those who have daughters sold into prostitution to work off meth debts, those who have had users suffer strokes or brain bleeds or those who are forced to commit violent Dairy robberies to pay for the debts.

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The tsunami of meth is devouring communities and while it has seen persistent focus over the last 6 months by Police targeting the 501s, the damage in the communities left behind is still convulsing.

Bridges knows the pain erupting throughout those communities and for them his criticism drenched with culture war references will ring true in a way the Left’s mocking and Jacinda’s head tilt concerned look routine can’t and won’t.

Judith Collins realised what Bridges was doing, told him off and then immediately tried to take the same tough on crime rhetoric.

National’s argument is that a policy of constant harassment coupled with ‘offramps’ that help family and associates leave the Gang is the perfect combination of carrot and stick.


Here are 3 reasons why their ridiculous ‘Strike Force Raptor’ policy won’t work:

1 – Constant harassment only generates radicalisation, not a desire to leave: A policy of constant harassment through every possible government agency from alcohol licensing to building permits to noise control won’t do anything other than create a sense of righteous grievance amongst those associates and family. Giving poor people on the fringes of society a righteous grievance against the state is not an ‘offramp’ for helping people leave gangs, it’s a motorway towards radicalisation. You really want to radicalise Gangs? Really?

2 – Strike Force Raptor is corrupt in Australia: As Newsroom painfully points out, the Australian example of Strike Force Raptor has come under sustained criticism that it is corrupt, abuses civil rights and has overstepped its authority time and time and time again. I’m not sure adopting a corrupt Australian model of Policing from one of the most corrupt Police Forces in the developed world is a solution to the soaring gang tensions here.  As someone who has had to fight the NZ Police when they abused my civil rights, I am fully cognitive of the utter lack of checks and balances to Police power in this country,  and see a vast ratcheting up of Police powers as an exacerbating problem, not a solution.

3 – It doesn’t focus on the actual problem – the 501s: The point I was making in the interview with Mark Mitchell stands, the generator of this recruitment drive by the domestics is the sudden importation of 1500 501s from Australia who are prepared to use a level of criminal violence and sophistication well in excess of what the domestic gang landscape will cause. There’s no point in harassing the Mongrel Mob or Black Power or even the Headhunters if the 501s are the reason they are bulking up to protect their turf. A myopic focus on the 501s is what is required here, not some broad stroke get tough on crime rhetoric that lacks nuance because it’s aimed at triggering voters using lazy stereotypes.’

The problem for the Left of course is that intelligent policing as Coster is attempting to embark upon all relies on explanation and discussion when those who are hurting simply want revenge and zero tolerance of a threat that grows by the day.

Labour strategists are going to have to do more than gang busts to take the fury out of those communities bearing the brunt of the gang war and meth explosion. A vast drug rehabilitation program using the profits from a taxed and regulated cannabis market would be the easiest way to heal those communities but the Labour Government are such gutless and spineless cowards they refused point blank to do anything about that didn’t they so they can reap what they sowed while Simon Bridges makes hay.


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  1. Bridges performance at Select Committee was abysmal. He certainly didn’t raise the issues which you do, in a succinct or relevant manner, but seemed to be trying to reframe “ policing by consent” for his own purposes, and failed to do so. It wasn’t “heated”, but rather, Bridges was being a hot head, and was out of his depth with Andy Coster.

    If this was politicking, and he was using the dire gang situation to position himself for another tilt at being the leader of the Nats, it was grubby behaviour – he didn’t make hay. Police will be well aware of the underlying societal issues leading to the meths explosion and the terror of the 501’s, and Bridges’ personal focus on Costner’s alleged brand of policing, was misplaced – he looked a blustering bully.

  2. It’s the opposition doing its job; and let’s be honest about this, there are plenty of targets to aim at!

    > Coster’s selective application of the law. Don’t tell me this isn’t coming from the top

    > Wood’s fiasco of home ownership and subsequent disembowelment in Parliament

    > Davis’s shooting himself in the foot with prison numbers & riots

    > Leaky MIQ through sheer incompetence

    > Gang membership rising and the consequent increase in violent crime

    • What a bugger, it is obvious that the Commissioner doesn’t believe in selective policing and the constant harassment of bottom-end targets. What is coming from the ‘top’, now championed by a less competent former Crown Prosecutor, is an overwhelming fear Coster won’t tolerate the continuation of the selective application of the law that only targets specific social groups. It will be a great day when the likes of the IRD follow the Commissioner’s lead.

      If one bothers to read the research, there are numerous reasons for the perceived increase in gang numbers. Martyn has explained some of these in this posting. It seems there is a general ignorance of the fact that leaving the high profile NZ gangs is not like resigning your membership of the Lions Club Andrew. Find out about it! Also, having a patch doesn’t equate to criminal behaviour, despite the delusions of yourself and Simon Bridges.

    • Home ownership….as a result of previous National government policy
      Gang membership rising … As a result of previous National government inability to stand up to an Australian government.
      Prison numbers and riots…as a result of previous National government policy.

      FFS Andrew do your research!

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