Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime

  • Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022
  • Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:
    • 987 firearms seized
    • $4.99 million in cash seized
    • 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence

Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful organised crime operation, Police Minister Poto Williams says.

“The government has never been more active in cracking down on gangs and organised crime, and getting gang leaders off our streets. With the extension of Operation Tauwhiro – this government is continuing to take action to make sure New Zealanders and their families are kept safe,” Poto Williams said.

“The success of Operation Tauwhiro shows the impact the government’s record investment in Police continues to have. We have the largest Police workforce ever, with 700 additional officers alone to be focused on organised crime.

“Gangs destroy lives, but we will not let them destroy communities. This Government is very clear that violent gangs and other criminals cannot continue to threaten, intimidate, and exploit our communities. Operation Tauwhiro will continue to disrupt and prevent firearms-related violence by criminal gangs and organised crime groups.

“Already, we’ve committed to introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders to protect the public from firearms harm, hitting gangs where it hurts – their pockets by amending the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act to give the Police new powers to seize assets from organised criminals, and seizing $500 million in cash and assets from gangs in the last four years alone.

“New Zealanders have the right to feel safe in their homes and their communities. Operation Tauwhiro will go a long way to making New Zealanders safer by taking guns off gangs that can cause so much harm and fear in our communities and puts police officers at risk,” Poto Williams said.