The Prime Minister has more questions to answer on the Mongrel Mob meth programme as it’s reveal the time the project would run each year decreased as the overall funding increased, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.
In the 71 days between the initial funding application and the detailed funding application the amount of time the project would run each year decreased by about 40 per cent from 48 weeks to 30 weeks but the overall funding went up nearly 50 per cent from $1.9 million to $2.75 million.
“If the amount of time the project is running decreases, it would stand to reason that the total cost should too,” Dr Reti says.
“Instead, the programme has increased by a whopping $850,000.
“This isn’t the only issue with the programme, there’s no hard evidence that the participants in the meth pilot had actually used the drug at all,” Dr Reti says.
National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says the Proceeds of Crime Fund was set up to distribute money taken from gangs into programmes and initiatives aimed at tackling the increase of gangs in New Zealand.
“National agrees with comments made by the Police Association likening this decision to money laundering, with money confiscated from gangs with one hand and given back with another.
“Clearly the unease with this programme also extended to the Ministry of Health, with the Group Manager of Addiction saying the fact this programme was shortlisted was a ‘real pity’.
“There were seven projects shortlisted for the Proceeds of Crime Funding and only five were approved. The Prime Minister should clarify which two projects she chose not to fund, so New Zealanders can decide if they would’ve been more appropriate for taxpayer funding than funding a criminal organisation,” Mr Brown says.
You can read the supporting evidence and information here.
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