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National Welcomes Bill To Stop Govt Funding Organised Crime

A law change that will prevent any future government funding being granted to organised criminal groups and gangs will be debated in Parliament, National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

The Public Finance (Prohibition on Providing Public Funds to Gangs) Amendment Bill will ensure that any person responsible for the expenditure of public money must take reasonable steps to ensure that the public money under their control is not used directly or indirectly for the purposes of making payment to gangs.

“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,” Mr Brown says.

“Labour’s $2.75 million hand out to the Mongrel Mob shows Kiwis can’t simply expect governments will take taxpayer money seriously and make sure it doesn’t go to gangs. We’re going to have to legislate against it.

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

“There is no justification for the Government funding the Mongrel Mob at what works out to be $275,000 per participant when, as I understand it, Victim Support receives about $400 per person to support the victims that gang crime creates.

“The Government might think it is ‘being kind’, but the reality is that that ‘kindness’ has led to a 50 per cent increase 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 with significant concern by a New Zealand public who have made it clear that Government funds should not be handed over to gangs.”

Notes to editors: The Public Finance (Prohibition on Providing Public Funds to Gangs) Amendment Bill is here.

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