Chris Hipkins; Getty Images
Crime

Police Minister Chris Hipkins standing by decision not to ban gang patches

The Police Minister is standing by the decision not to ban gang patches, and gangs assembling in public. 

The Government has announced a suite of changes, including the laws on drive-by shootings after a loophole was exposed. 

Police would also get warrant and search powers to seize weapons during gang conflicts, as well as making it easier to impound more vehicles. 

Cash seizure powers would also be ramped up and money laundering rules bolstered. 

But it doesn't include a gang patch ban or stop gang members assembling in public - two things called for by National. 

Speaking on Lloyd Burr Live, Chris Hipkins said driving gangs underground doesn't solve the problem.

"Simply saying as the National Party has that if people can't see it anymore then it doesn't matter anymore - well it does still matter.

"It's still offending and we want to take on an approach that's based on what's going to deal with the offending."

Police are getting more search warrant powers under the new legislation. 

The warrant will last 14 days to search property, cars and homes... during a gang conflict. 

Hipkins says police will not be able to abuse their new powers.

"They will still need to convince the judicial system that there is a requirement to use this power in order to intervene in gang-related criminal offending."

Listen to the full interview between Chris Hipkins and Lloyd Burr above.

You can also download the full interview on the Lloyd Burr Live podcast, and listen on the go. Check it out on the rova app or wherever you get your podcasts.