New Zealand First is promising to strengthen police numbers if it is elected this month. Leader Winston Peters made the announcement in Lower Hutt today, saying crime needs to be prevented and extra police would help do that.
Mr Peters said over the past five years under a National-led Government there has been no increase in the number of police or in funding, despite the level of crime going up.
"We are seeking to get parity with Australia - that is, frontline police per thousand. That's what we sought to do in 2005 when we got a thousand extra frontline police in the space of three years."
Mr Peters said New Zealand First would carry out regular audits of crime statistics.
Coalition policy outlined
New Zealand First is calling for a change in economic direction saying that would be an essential part of any talks with a future coalition partner after the election.
Speaking on Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme today, Winston Peters said the economy was going "grossly wrong" and there is massive support for change in economic policy. He said economic growth is too slow and exports are down.
"All these signs as economists point out, alongside the huge drop in dairy prices and wood prices is bad news for the next administration and we want a change of economic direction because clearly the National Party's thesis that all is going fine is simply not true."
He said monetary policy reform would be a priority in coalition negotiations, although he still would not say which parties were closer to New Zealand First policies.
Mr Peters has also refused to say whether he could work with the Green Party after the election.
New Zealand First could hold the balance of power after the election. In previous elections, Mr Peters has ruled out working with the Greens but he said it would depend on what happened in negotiations after the election.
"Only then can you tell the public what you'll do because you've had the negotiations and you've secured for them the things that they want."
"Anyone who does that before the election is virtually telling the public I don't care what I get in these negotiations, I'm off to get a ministerial job. I personally utterly despise that approach."
Tax plans criticised
Winston Peters criticised the tax plans of both major parties. He is against National's plan to offer small tax cuts in 2017, but also opposes Labour's capital gains tax, saying it would be unfair unless compensation was offered for losses.
"I buy a house for $200,000. If I make $300,000 on the sale - well, that's fair enough. But what if I make only $150,000 on the sale, I'm down - and where's the credit for me then?"
Mr Peters said his party would prefer a tax incentive at a rate of 20 percent for businesses operating in new markets or creating new export products.