Ex-gang member compares Collins to Trump over gang crackdown plans

A former gang member has compared Police Minister Judith Collins to Donald Trump after the Government vowed to crackdown on gang crime with new initiatives to combat the methamphetamine trade.

Denis O'Reilly hits out over the Police Minister's comments over the distribution of P. Source: Breakfast

Denis O'Reilly told TVNZ's Breakfast the root cause of methamphetamine in New Zealand was that it enters the country from overseas.

"If you look at who gets arrested for trying to get meth into the place, they're names more likely to see at a fundraising dinner that Judith Collins would go to," he said.

Ms Collins said yesterday the Head Hunters gang was using the Mongrel Mob and Black Power to distribute methamphetamine.

She said the gang co-operation was being driven partly by demand for meth from wealthier New Zealanders.

"There's a lot of middle class kids who go to the best schools who are being targeted because their parents have plenty of money," Ms Collins said.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley announced the initiatives on Monday as a new report showed more than $700 million in welfare assistance had gone to gang members and their children since 1993.

The Gang Action Plan will see crackdowns on drug trafficking networks and new gangs trying to enter New Zealand, while the Start at Home programme aims to refocus existing social initiatives to address the intergenerational nature of gang life.

Former Black Power member Mr O'Reilly responded today by saying "you've got two ministers saying slightly different things".

"Anne Tolley's got a much more nuanced approach to it and it's more akin to a community development approach and it's one that I'd support," he said.

"Judith Collins only has a hammer and sees everything as a nail."

Mr O'Reilly called on the Government to "stop hyping up".

"Stop Judith Collins channelling Donald Trump and just let Anne Tolley work away at this in a community development approach," he said.

"The good old adage 'feed the positive, starve the negative."