Cracking down on gangs and the drug P they make and sell will be a priority for a National-led government, party leader John Key says.
He told National's Canterbury-Westland regional conference yesterday pure methamphetamine, known as P, was causing more problems than any other illegal drug.
"It's dangerous, it's devastatingly addictive, it leads to violence and it destroys lives," he said.
"Today I'm sending a warning to every single P dealer, every P manufacturer and every gang involved in the P trade: National will not put up with your criminal activity."
Mr Key said National in government would make targeting and undermining criminal gangs a main priority for police and would give courts significant new powers to fight gangs.
Some of those measures were first announced by National's law and order spokesman, Simon Power, at the party's annual conference in August last year, but Mr Key is linking them directly to the danger of P and gave more details of National's intentions if it wins the next election.
He said a range of powers for finding and punishing those involved in the P trade would be developed.
"Firstly, National will investigate banning known P dealers and manufacturers from having the right to electronic bail or home detention," he said."We view these drug-related offences as dangerous to the public and we believe those responsible for them should be sentenced accordingly."
He said there was no doubt the drug was a major force linked to growing crime rates and told the conference:
* Around one in 10 people arrested for a crime admitted they had been using P in the lead-up to that crime;
* Record levels of assaults on police had been attributed to P; and
* It had been a factor in several murders, including the killing of schoolgirl Coral-Ellen Burrows.
The main points of the crackdown on gangs were:
* Police would have increased legal powers to listen in on gang communications and conduct surveillance;
* Police and local authorities would be given increased power to storm gang fortifications and destroy them;
* The Crimes Act would be strengthened to make it illegal to be a member of a criminal organisation; and
* Courts would be given increased sentencing powers for dealing with those involved with gangs.