For all the staged “hugging” photo-ops and blithering about “kindness”, the Ardern government has a disturbing predilection for some very rough trade.
“Posh people love crims”, Australia’s notorious Chopper Read once observed. The Ardern government seem to really love violent gangs.
The Ardern government’s incomprehensible decision to hand over millions to the Mongrel Mob to run a drug rehab program reads like an episode of Breaking Bad, where meth-peddler Jesse Pinkman infiltrates a rehab program in order to get closer to potential clients.
But that’s far from the only incomprehensible decision by the Ardern government when it comes to violent gang members. In 2019, it was revealed that Ardern’s Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care (a copy-cat, it seems, of Australian PM Julia Gillard’s own Royal Commission) appointed the Mongrel Mob’s Harry Tam to a key role.
It’s as if Breaking Bad’s psychotic Tuco Salamanca was put in charge of a women’s shelter.
A high-profile former Dunedin gang member with a domestic violence conviction is playing a key role within the Royal Commission of Inquiry into state abuse, despite one woman going to police over safety fears.
Maori justice campaigner Paora Moyle has broken her silence, saying two women, including a state abuse survivor, approached the Commission in recent months to express fears over Mongrel Mob member Harry Tam’s behaviour.
This was not just a case of a fox being put in charge of the hen house: it was the fox being given the name and current whereabouts of every one of the chickens.
Mr Tam was appointed to the key position of director of policy and research at the beginning of the year, providing leadership and management support with the inquiry’s secretariat team.
He was subsequently given another pivotal job of further shaping the Commission’s make-up and direction, when Mr Tam was made facilitator of the inquiry’s Survivors Advisory Group and given authority to weigh up applications to choose its 20 members. The role of the group is to help direct the Commission’s work.
Paora Moyle said Mr Tam’s key portfolios within the Commission had allowed him access to survivors’ personal information and believed giving him broad-ranging input into the inquiry process was “irresponsible and untenable”.
It’s not as if the Commissioners could have been unaware of his record.
One of those with safety concerns was Mr Tam’s former long-term partner Charlotte Mildon, who recently separated from the former government advisor.
The Hawke’s Bay woman emailed the secretariat’s executive director Mervin Singham, alerting him to Mr Tam making her feel unsafe by entering her bedroom at night, behaviour she regarded as “an example of Mongrel Mob stand-over tactics”. She took to social media last month to highlight her claim.
Mr Tam had been previously issued with a Police Safety Order to stay away from Ms Mildon for four days after a domestic incident, reported to police in July 2017.
He was also convicted in 1994 of assaulting his wife and was sentenced to three months’ periodic detention and six months’ supervision.
Tam was also given the opportunity to appoint other members of the advisory group. His choices were curious, to say the least.
One of those appointed was Rangi Wickliffe, convicted in 2015 for falsely claiming he shot dead Douglas Witere in April 2014 in the hope he would receive $100,000 from the real culprit, Troy McHugh. Another choice was former Papamoa community patrol volunteer, Gregory Molony, who in 2013 was convicted for impersonating a police officer while trying to find a female escort.Otago Daily Times
Eventually, a measure of sanity prevailed.
A high-profile gang member has been stood down from his role within the Royal Commission of Inquiry into historic state abuse months after multiple allegations of domestic violence were raised.Stuff
It shouldn’t have taken his victims going to the media to get a violent gang leader thrown off such a sensitive, government-funded role.
It also beggars belief that the Ardern government, having been caught out once, was still sneakily determined to throw millions more taxpayer’s money at the leader of a criminal gang.
Harry Tam boasts that Jacinda Ardern trusts him — New Zealanders need to ask themselves if they trust a government that constantly rewards gang leaders with cushy jobs and millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money.
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