David Garrett

The Standard speculates that David Garrett may be ACT’s mystery No 5 candidate. He is a barrister associated with the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

By coincidence Garrett had a column in the Herald on Wednesday on Labour’s sudden interest in banning gangs:

There is nothing particularly radical about Labour’s endorsement of a policy banning gangs – which begs the question why it has taken so long. …

Given Labour’s long opposition to such laws it is difficult not to be cynical about its timing now – eight weeks from an election.

Indeed. The chance of Labour actually passing a law to ban gangs is around equal to their chance of developing nuclear weapons.

The point is well made that banning gangs per se may not in fact be such a good idea – at least while the Mongrel Mob and Black Power strut around in their patches or “colours” they are easily identifiable.


Criminal non-association laws would have the same effect without the disadvantages.

The police are aware who most gang members are and which of them have criminal records. If consorting with known criminals becomes an offence, groups of intimidating thugs on our streets would quickly become a thing of the past. Problematic laws banning gangs themselves would become unnecessary.

But how many criminals are needed for it to become consorting? Some would argue Cabinet would become illegal 🙂

Although it’s about 25 years too late, Labour’s belated realisation that gangs are just criminal organisations, and not some alternative to whanau, is a welcome development. Pity it comes so close to an election.

Just a coincidence I am sure.

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