Candidates from Rangitikei and Palmerston North brought their boxing gloves to the Sensible Sentencing Trust debate over law and order in Feilding on Tuesday night.

The debate was held after the Sensible Sentencing Trust revealed statistics showing frontline police numbers in the Manawatū/Rangitīkei have been reduced since 2014.

National MP Ian McKelvie said the statistics were misleading, "they're completely inaccurate, they've used misleading statistics on the front of the information".

NZ First MP Darroch Ball came back fighting: "there's no denying that police number have dwindled, not just in the Manawatū but in the whole country".

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The debate was soon brought down to earth when a mother, who did not want to be named, stood up top say, "my son's life has been destroyed, ours has been destroyed. Politicians - it seems to me the only thing that gets you moving is money. Do you know how much money it cost to keep my son alive? And we haven't finished yet".

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