“The Proceeds of Crime Fund is yet another example of Labour’s many broken promises, failed solutions, and empty rhetoric. After one year the funding round has closed and only a fraction of the money has been paid out to care providers,” says ACT’s Justice spokesperson Nicole McKee.
“The purpose of the fund is to provide funding for organisations and solutions that address organised crime harm and drug-related harm. The latest funding round was announced in last year’s budget as $22 million.
“The money isn’t going anywhere though. One year later and written parliamentary questions show that only $3.73 million has made its way to approved initiatives. One organisation, Te Whare Hauora, provides a safe place for victims of domestic violence but is yet to receive a single cent of funding.
“Another organisation called The Retreat, who provided residential programmes for people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, has had to close due to the uncertainty around funding.
“I asked Justice Minister Kiri Allan why the fund isn’t paying out, she said the funding has all been allocated. The problem isn’t allocating the fund though, it’s getting it into organisations’ hands.
“Nothing highlights Labour’s values on crime better than the fact they managed to spend more than $6 million in one year giving criminals reduced sentences through cultural reports, but struggle to spend money on initiatives that will support victims of crime. So much for Kiri Allan’s ‘victim-centric approach’.
“Only in New Zealand. The Government thinks that reducing the prison population is more important than keeping people safe or supporting victims of crime. It’s time for real change, putting victims at the heart of the justice system.”