February 22, 2023
PM Hipkins rejects disorder claims
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says talk of extensive lawlessness in the Hawke’s Bay is untrue and unhelpful.
National and ACT are calling for legislation to double the sentences of those charged with looting.
They also want the army brought in to police affected areas.
Mr Hipkins says he gets daily briefings from Police, and he won’t act on unsubstantiated rumours.
“It is true there is a heightened level of stress in the Hawke’s Bay where people have been without power and without phone lines and so on but police aren’t reporting an increase in crime over and above what they’re already expecting to be dealing with on a day to day basis. They have sent extra police into the district to provide that additional public reassurance but any suggestion things are out of control is just wrong,” he says.
Police have made over 50 arrests in the last week, most related to looting in the Hawkes Bay, Te Tai Rāwhiti areas.
The state of emergency has been extended a further 7 days.