Two weeks ago I spent every day knocking on doors in Pāpāmoa East, one of Tauranga's stunning new suburbs hugging the sea.
Behind every door, I was greeted by the values of New Zealand, family-oriented, hardworking, optimistic with one exception, Tauranga's violent gang problem and our apparent inability to control it.
One young mum spoke for all when she said: "We came here to get away from all that, it can't be allowed to follow us to this community."
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She is right. I have lived here for 40 years, I have never seen the like of it.
Yes, like other cities, we have had gang issues from time to time but nothing like the emergence of the homicides and violence our city has seen in the past few weeks.
Cars burned out, drive-by shootings and deaths. It is Tauranga's reality today but it is happening across the country with more than 1400 more patched gang members in NZ over the past two years.
I know I speak for my community when I say that we are in awe of our local women and men who wear the police uniform, fronting up day and night to confront this massive upswing in violent crime, but we all want them given the support they need to gain control of our streets.
The Government response to our gang issue is weak and shows little understanding of the pressures our local cops are under.
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Police Minister Stuart Nash is quoted as saying "the public can have complete confidence that the police have got their backs".
We know our local police have our backs, they are superb, but who has their backs?
They can't give voice to what they really want to say, which is give us the tools, more resources and legal backing to go hard after these guys who are roaming across our city and wider region like some sort of LA gangland movie.
The Government mocked our proposal for the New South Wales-type capacity to target the gangs hard, and have opposed our legislation to strengthen police powers to search and take weapons off gangs.
They are more interested in platitudes and angst over why gangs exist rather than giving police the powers and resources to make life hard for them.
Put bluntly, gangs don't need empathy they need harsh consequences for their actions.
I am pleased to see our police are armed. It is a necessary short-term response and needs to stay that way until the gang issue is under control.
This is our community, policed by our mums and dads, our brothers and sisters, and we want them resourced to keep us all safe from these peddlers of misery.
• Todd Muller is the MP for Bay of Plenty and is the National Party spokesman for agriculture, biosecurity, food safety, and forestry.