I listened to a couple of hours of Talk-back radio this morning.. the main topic was a ‘Black Power’ Gang Member, who has been doing volunteer mentoring in a prison, with young prisoners; for over 5 years. The news story being; the current Police/Corrections minister has stated that ‘There is only one place for such people.. LOCKED UP in prison’ NOT working there. (paraphrased)
This call has apparently been backed up by the main opposition party spokesperson & the ‘sensible sentencing trust’. The only party that oppose these statements.. NZ Green Party. So much for words like: reformed, rehabilitation.. all they are really saying is “Redemption DENIED !” 😦
This minister obviously has her head still squarely buried in the 1970s (or earlier) when this sort of ‘zero tolerance’ was prevalent in Aotearoa/NZ. She also infamously got the nick-name ‘CRUSHER’ after once stating that ‘young boy racers cars, should be seized & CRUSHED’.
The host said that he is opposed to ‘the Gangs’ in Aotearoa/NZ who are renowned for ‘dealing DRUGS.. esp. Meth/P & cannabis’, but on this matter was not so sure, if this was the right assessment. I listened to several callers from both sides:
1) a few who generally agreed with the minister that ‘Gang Members’ are all involved with DRUG manufacture & supply. They are totally beyond redemption.
2) one caller was a local city councillor, who has known this man & stated, he is now more like a senior citizen, who made some mistakes in his youth.. but is now on-track & well-respected for the work he does.
3) a senior member of the ‘local Iwi’ (maori council) who also knows the man & backed up the comments by the city councillor
4) several callers who also said that the minister is totally wrong & if this man has been cleared to do this work & is doing a good job, then “good on him” he should be allowed to continue.
The host mentioned that NZ Police & corrections staff, often liaise with elder Gang members on these sort of issues. At the end of the show.. the host said he had been ‘keeping score’: 15 callers were supportive of the man & 6 were totally opposed. This just really indicates that this minister is totally out-of-touch with mainstream NZ. Maybe its time she took a good look at herself (her out-of-date, negative attitudes) OR maybe she should be kicked out of her position ?