Addressing crime a major focus of ethnic-based People’s Party

EDITORIAL

It is not often that Prime Minister John Key and his arch enemy Winston Peters find themselves agreeing on something, but the formation of a new ethnic-based political party has managed just that.

The New Zealand People’s Party has been formed to help those in the Indian and Asian community. Its leader Roshan Nauhria says crime is one of the biggest issues for its people who feel they are targeted everywhere.

Both Key and Peters were quick to deny the need for a new party based around an ethnic group.

Peters said no nation has a chance of progressing if people were going to spend their time accentuating their differences.

Key attributed the emergence of the party to what he describes as anti-immigrant attitudes in existing parties. He added the history of parties of this type is bleak.

But at the heart of the new party and extending beyond any ethnic group is fear of crime, particularly burglaries and theft, and there were two major developments on that issue this week.

First, Key took the unusual step of writing to the Chinese community telling them there was no need to arm themselves or take vigilante action.

That argument suffered a major blow within 24 hours when television news showed footage of a father and son in a Napier dairy fighting off robbers armed with a claw hammer and crow bar.

Police rightly do not encourage people to resist armed assailants but the two men with their hockey stick and table leg won thousands of admirers in the general public for their brave if risky actions.

Later in the week police minister Judith Collins announced that home burglaries would be treated as priority offences and police would try to attend all calls.

That will be a massive challenge. There are 100 home burglaries a day and the police union doubts there are sufficient resources available.

There is no doubt that many Asians feel vulnerable which is a sad situation in a country that prides itself on tolerance and inclusiveness.

It is not often that Prime Minister John Key and his arch enemy Winston Peters find themselves agreeing on something, but the formation of a new ethnic-based political party has managed just that.

The New Zealand People’s Party has been formed to help those in the Indian and Asian community. Its leader Roshan Nauhria says crime is one of the biggest issues for its people who feel they are targeted everywhere.

Both Key and Peters were quick to deny the need for a new party based around an ethnic group.

Peters said no nation has a chance of progressing if people were going to spend their time accentuating their differences.

Key attributed the emergence of the party to what he describes as anti-immigrant attitudes in existing parties. He added the history of parties of this type is bleak.

But at the heart of the new party and extending beyond any ethnic group is fear of crime, particularly burglaries and theft, and there were two major developments on that issue this week.

First, Key took the unusual step of writing to the Chinese community telling them there was no need to arm themselves or take vigilante action.

That argument suffered a major blow within 24 hours when television news showed footage of a father and son in a Napier dairy fighting off robbers armed with a claw hammer and crow bar.

Police rightly do not encourage people to resist armed assailants but the two men with their hockey stick and table leg won thousands of admirers in the general public for their brave if risky actions.

Later in the week police minister Judith Collins announced that home burglaries would be treated as priority offences and police would try to attend all calls.

That will be a massive challenge. There are 100 home burglaries a day and the police union doubts there are sufficient resources available.

There is no doubt that many Asians feel vulnerable which is a sad situation in a country that prides itself on tolerance and inclusiveness.

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