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Gangs See Whanau Ora As A Cash Cow For Drugs

Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Leader
22 March 2013

Gangs See Whanau Ora As A Cash Cow For Drugs

New Zealand First says facts show that criminal gangs are planning to grow their illegal drug cartels by using funding from the Government’s seriously flawed Whanau Ora scheme.

The accusation comes after Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia tried to say that the case of a Dunedin-based gang using Whanau Ora funds to buy cannabis was an ‘isolated’ incident’.

Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Minister’s comments come even though intercepted phone calls revealed the funding rort was being used as a model for gangs nationwide.

“Mrs Turia’s comments about Whanau Ora are based on fiction.

“Even the Whanau Ora Integration, Innovation and Engagement Fund report released late last year clearly identified alarming deficiencies with the scheme.

“It highlighted the fact that no basic data is available on participation levels, and there are glaring gaps on where millions of taxpayer dollars are going.

“This information is in the public realm, and it is damning.

“It is a joke that the Minister thinks anyone would believe her spurious claims about the robustness and transparency of the flawed Whanau Ora scheme.

“Whanau Ora funding has been used for touchy-feely family reunions, rugby games, as well as by gangs to buy cannabis.

“There is nothing to suggest this kind of activity won’t continue to be funded through Whanau Ora – a scheme that is a tragedy for both taxpayers and Maori,” says Mr Peters.

nzfirst.org.nz | twitter.com/winstonpeters | facebook.com/winstonpeters

ENDS

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