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Brian Tamaki at a protest late last year.

Photo/ RNZ / Angus Dreaver


How does it change them on the inside? Brian Tamaki rips into gang patch ban

Freedoms NZ party leader Brian Tamaki joined Pacific Mornings to share his views on how to address the country's crime issue.

Pacific Mornings
27 March 2024, 12:28am
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As leader of the Freedoms New Zealand political party, Brian Tamaki had his own 100 day plan for the country.

But while his party was unsuccessful at the last election, he still has strong views about the direction of the country and spoke to Levi Matautia-Morgan on 531pi's Pacific Mornings on what he thought of the government’s achievements to date, as well as how to address crime in this country.

"Our crime and law and order policy was the best of any of them," Tamaki says.

"I mean, if you read through it, and I think that Mr Mitchell will probably have a glance at it here and there, because the way they've approached this and looking at banning gang patches and shoving people into boot camp, this is so backward and ineffective, I'm surprised that National is even toying with that idea."

Tamaki's Destiny Church runs prison rehabilitation initiatives called Man Up and Legacy Sisterhood, which are 10-15 week intensive programsaimed at helping ex-offenders get their lives back on track.

Tamaki has stated previously that these programs have a 72 per cent non-reoffending rate, and while this figure was disputed by Labour's Minister of Corrections Kelvin Davis at the time, Tamaki is adamant that international research shows boot camps and patch bans don't work.


"The smash and grab thing about taking patches and banning them - how is that going to change a person that wears that jacket on the inside? That's not going to change the way they think and the way they're living.

"Banning patches is not going to change these guys from doing crime. That's not going to change it. And neither is boot camp. As boot camps have been tried [and failed] before in other countries."

However Tamaki isn't an advocate for a softer approach on crime, rather he'd like to see the government deal to welfare dependency and cutting school lunches is a good start in his opinion.

"We need to deal with the beneficiaries and the dependency. Our whole state system is out of order. We've got a lot of food in this country. We're not exactly in a famine. So I think we've got a parental problem, and that's going back to what I said before about the values we preach and teach. But we're just failing on every level with breakdown in the family."

Watch the full interview below with Brian Tamaki: