Labour Cabinet turned down proposal to stop funding gangs

Chris Hipkins’ Cabinet considered whether to stop government contracts involving funding for gangs in July and deliberately chose to keep doing so, National’s Public Service spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

National understands the then-Justice Minister Kiri Allan lodged a paper for Cabinet on 17 July this year which included a proposal to not engage in or renew any contracts with gangs or persons actively associated with gangs, but Cabinet did not agree to the proposal.

“For Kiwis living in communities affected by rising gang membership and the crime, chaos and misery that comes with it, this will be the final straw. In the midst of skyrocketing gang crime, Labour’s Cabinet couldn’t even agree to a proposal that would stop the government funding gangs,” Mr Brown says.

“Hardworking people rightly expect taxpayer money and the Proceeds of Crime Fund to go to victims and worthwhile programmes, not criminal gangs. Chris Hipkins must explain to New Zealanders why his government refused to stop funding gangs.

“This proposal mirrors National’s own policy of stopping government funding for the criminal enterprises currently causing mayhem in communities up and down the country. If elected, we will enact this sensible change to stop government funding for gangs.

“Labour is soft on crime and has already funnelled money to the Mongrel Mob for an anti-meth programme. The scheme was likened to “money-laundering”, by one Hawke’s Bay police officer who was appalled by $2.75 million in funding from the Proceeds of Crime Fund being recycled back to the Mongrel Mob to run a programme designed to get people off a drug that the Mob have long experience in selling.

“Gangs are actively campaigning for the Labour Party around the country and specifically telling their members to vote for Labour. Now we know why. Given a choice to stop funding gangs or continuing it, Labour chose the latter.”