MP’s bill will stop Government from ‘funding organised crime’

The Government gave $2.75 million to a drug rehabilitation programme run by the Mongrel Mob. Photo supplied

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown says he will introduce a member’s bill to prevent future Government funding from being granted to organised crime units.

Brown, the National Party’s police spokesman, says his Gang Funding Prohibition Bill will ensure anyone responsible for spending public money “must take reasonable steps to ensure the public money under their control is not used directly or indirectly for the purposes of making payment to gangs”.

Creation of the bill follows news the Government gave $2.75 million toward a methamphetamine rehabilitation programme run by the Mongrel Mob gang in the lower North Island.

“This will likely seem self-evident to some and yes, it should be reasonable to expect that public officials and elected representatives would use their common sense and good judgement to not allocate public funds to gangs,” Brown says.

“This Labour Government has shown we cannot simply expect our public funds do not go to gangs, we will have to legislate it.

“Any New Zealander who needs drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation should be able to access such treatment.

“It is vital that rehabilitation is funded and effective.

“A gang which imports, makes, and deals drugs itself, is not an effective organisation for rehabilitation.”

Brown says there is “no justification” for the Government funding the Mongrel Mob at what works out to be $275,000 per participant when Victim Support receives about $400 per person to support victims of gang crime.

“The Government might think it is ‘being kind’, but the reality is that that ‘kindness’ has led to a doubling in gang member numbers and increased violent crime.

“Sometimes society doesn’t need ‘kind’. It needs firm and fair, and tough on crime.

“I look forward to Labour supporting my bill as any objections to preventing Government funding of gangs would be viewed very suspiciously by a New Zealand public who have made it clear that their taxes should not be handed over to gangs.”