18 Sep 2014

Call to change Criminal Proceeds Fund

3:30 pm on 18 September 2014

A kaupapa Māori drug rehabilitation programme wants money seized from criminals to be put back into all community groups, not only Government agencies.

Drug smoking equipment

The Government has said some funds from recovered criminal proceeds would be used to expand alcohol and drug treatment programmes. Photo: Photo NZ

A kaupapa Māori drug rehabilitation programme wants money seized from criminals to be put back into all community groups, not only Government agencies.

Patua te Ngārāra is run by Hoani Waititi Marae in west Auckland and helps whānau deal with the effects of methamphetamine.

Under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act, police have restrained more than $150 million in assets from criminals and have about $40 million in forfeitures - a bulk of it follows methamphetamine-related prosecutions.

The money from the Criminal Proceeds Fund is then bid for by Government agencies.

But a kaimahi for Patua te Ngārāra, Shane White, said that did not make sense.

He said there were many non-Government organisations who need more resources and said it seemed strange that the millions of dollars in the fund were only available to Government agencies.

Mr White said if you traced that money back, it was a child's shoes and lunch that their addicted parents had spent, and it should be going back to the community to support those whānau.

This year, the Government announced more than $6 million recovered under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act would be used to fund law enforcement initiatives to break the methamphetamine supply chain and expand alcohol and drug treatment programmes.

That money went to the New Zealand Police, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health and New Zealand Customs, and that did have the potential to filter down to community organisations.

The latest successful funding rounds from the fund announced in the last year:

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs