2 Sep 2021

Govt funding for gang-run meth treatment programme cleared

6:28 pm on 2 September 2021

The Auditor General has told National Party MPs there was nothing wrong with two government payments made to gang members.

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Photo: RNZ/ Nick Monro

National Party leader Judith Collins asked the Auditor General if it was appropriate for the government to fund a marae-based meth rehabilitation programme, run by a Mongrel Mob member.

MP Simeon Brown also questioned if the chief human rights commissioner giving a koha at a hui organised by the Waikato Mongrel Mob was the right thing to do.

Auditor general John Ryan said the funding decision for the rehabilitation programme followed the right processes.

He said the koha was consistent with guidance on expenditure.

In July, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern rejected criticism over $2.75 million in funding being allocated for the methamphetamine addiction treatment programme.

The money came from Proceeds of Crime funding, which is seized from criminals.

She said the programme was based on one set up under the then-2010 National government's strategy to handle the meth problem.

However, Brown criticised it, saying it sent all the wrong signals.

ACT Party justice spokesperson Nicole McKee said it was unacceptable.

"We now have money being seized from organised crime being channelled back into gangs. It is mindboggling and disrespectful to victims of crime," she said at the time.

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