National Party leader and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges backs a bylaw that would ban begging and sleeping rough in Tauranga.
Speaking in front of a public gathering in Tauranga on the last leg of his whistle-stop tour around the country, Bridges said the city council has been "far, far too soft" on the issue of homelessness.
In June, councillors voted 6-2 to add a "begging ban" into the draft Street Use and Public Spaces bylaw, which is going out for consultation.
The bylaw would make it illegal to sleep or beg within five metres of any Tauranga retail space. Homeless could be prosecuted.
The ban would go against council staff advice, which said it would only be enforceable by court action.
Simon, a former Crown prosecutor, disagrees and says council could find a way to enforce it.
"They [council] should pass it and make sure it's implemented and enforce it.
"I'm not suggesting we should be making victims out of them. We need to be compassionate. There's a range of support the Government can provide to those who are genuinely homeless.
"My understanding is a similar bylaw has worked pretty well, not without exception, in Nelson and Hamilton."
Simon says the Greerton begging issue, which spearheaded the begging ban proposal in Tauranga, was complex.
"I see these people on the streets and they are aggressive.
"I wish that it happened while I was in Government, when we could do more about it, rather than externally, when all I have got is a microphone."