Labor stops bill to prevent public funding of gangs

The government’s decision to reject the Public Finances Amendment Bill (ban on providing public funds to gangs) is another example of Labor being completely out of touch when it comes to gangs, said the National MP Simeon Brown.

“Last week, the Minister of Police rejected the hypothesis that tensions between gangs had increased under government surveillance, despite evidence to the contrary. Since Labor came to power, gang membership has increased by more than 40% and violent crime has increased by 21%.

“National wants to stop gangs and our bill would have made it an offense for anyone to pay money, directly or indirectly, to an entity knowing it is a gang.

“For example, it would have stopped the government from giving $2.75 million of taxpayers’ money to a ‘meth rehab program’ run by lifelong Mongrel Mob member Harry Tam, as they have did last year.

“Not only has Labor’s soft approach to crime emboldened the gangs and seen violent crime escalate, but they seem to think it’s okay to give taxpayers’ money to programs run by criminals.” gang members.

“A district court judge questioned the validity and merits of the Hard 2 Reach program, considering that one of its program managers, Sonny Smith, is president of the Notorious chapter of the Mongrel Mob which sells methamphetamine every days.

“It beggars belief that instead of using the Proceeds of Crime Fund to address gang damage, the government continues to defend giving $2.75 million from the fund to Mongrel Mob members. which left many victims in their wake.

“National agrees with the Police Association who likened this decision to money laundering, with money confiscated from gangs with one hand and returned with the other.

“National is the party of law and order. We are not going to sit and have cups of tea with gangs. We support our police to uphold the law and support organizations like the Salvation Army that have a proven track record of helping people get help for their addictions.

“There should be no room for gang funding in New Zealand.”

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