I refer to recent issues of the NZ Herald and to the spoken media and their respective recent publications / presentations concerning the serious escalation in Criminal Gang violence/ drive-by shootings — albeit mainly inter-Gang violence.
It is encouraging that the totally unacceptable nature of this shooting-violence is at last attracting greater attention from Government, who have until now had an observably VERY soft attitude to Criminal Gang activities, although clearly Government have not yet come up with a meaningful, let alone an appropriate, strategy, to combat them.
However, WE MUST REMEMBER that as bad and as seriously threatening as gun-based gang violence is, their “business and primary income source” comes from the much more serious procurement, distribution of and highly profitable sale of illegal highly addictive drugs — all while knowingly and deliberately destroying many New Zealanders’ lives in the process. That is their UNDERPINNING business and (hugely profitable) livelihood.
Criminal Gangs are essentially “tribes”, reflecting and based on the Maori tribal model. The difference is that their raison d’être is as “criminal enterprises for profit”— i.e., they have a “CRIMINAL BUSINESS PURPOSE “ as their reason for being. Maori tribes do not.
We New Zealanders do NOT want Criminal Gangs in our society and eradicating / eliminating these “CRIMINAL” gangs from our society is the only viable solution. Anything less implies / acknowledges “a right to exist as a CRIMINAL enterprise”, whose purpose is “the carrying out of criminal activities as a business enterprise — for profit”.
Surely NO government can sanction / accept such a “CRIMINAL business-purpose” as a valid / justifiable “right to exist”.
Criminal Gang membership and criminal activity (recently, particularly drive-by shootings, no doubt associated with “ territorial rights” and / or “revenge-shootings”) have continued to escalate to the serious risk and detriment of all New Zealanders. Criminal Gangs unquestionably DOMINATE the procurement-for-supply, distribution, and sale of illegal habit-forming drugs in our society — all for huge monetary gain. Supplying illegal drugs is their underpinning “BUSINESS “ and source of income. They also own / possess illegally, large quantities of illegal-guns, and other intimidatory weapons, all used for criminal purposes including intimidation, threats of violence, violence, revenge-shooting, murder, robbery, burglary, raiding, etc. Further, they are involved in extortion by menace, blackmail, car/ vehicle conversion and, in short, criminal activities of pretty well every kind and description. In addition, Criminal Gangs are constantly involved in civil disobedience of various kinds which, unlike ordinary citizens, they more often than not get away with. Again, it is stressed that Government must understand and accept that “containment” is NOT a satisfactory strategy in combating these Criminal Gangs, because “containment” implies “acceptance” of criminal enterprises in our society — it implies a “right to exist” for the purpose for which they exist — namely, “the exploiting / carrying out of criminal activity AS A BUSINESS ENTERPRISE FOR PROFIT”. Surely Government cannot accept / condone this “CRIMINAL PURPOSE” as constituting a valid, acceptable or justifiable “right to exist”.
I am charging Government that they have an indisputable responsibility to eliminate / eradicate these Criminal Gangs from our society. We New Zealanders do not want them in our society. An example has been set by the Western Australian Government. Time NOW for our Government to put the legal framework in place to do the same —and TO MAKE SURE IT HAPPENS — eradicate Criminal Gangs from our society.
Hugh Perrett, a member of the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame, is the former managing director of Foodstuffs and founder of the Pak n' Save discount grocery chain.