July 14, 2022
Mediation money missing from gang package
A gang liaison expert says the Government’s promise to hit the gangs where it hurts shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the problems.
Harry Tam says yesterday’s announcement of new laws to seize assets and further criminalise the use of weapons was anticipated, given the rhetoric around gun violence.
But it’s hard to hurt people whose lives are about hurt, and ministers should pay more attention to the Royal Commission into abuse in state care which is uncovering clear links between that abuse and the formation of gangs.
He says there is nothing in the package about support for gang mediation, which can stop incidents from escalating.
“When I was working at Te Puni Kokiri when Minister Horomia was there and then Pita Sharples, they would get me to get out there and stop the escalation, and we were very successful at doing that. That sort of approach seems to have been dropped by this Government,” Mr Tam says.
Harry Tam says he had to find other sources to fund the successful mediation that enabled a truce between warring gangs in South Auckland.