Funding slashed for Mongrel Mob P rehab programme

There's disappointment on Tuesday after a unique P rehab partnership between the Salvation Army and the Mongrel Mob had its funding slashed.

In 2009 the Mongrel Mob's "notorious" chapter realised it had a problem - too many of its members were addicted to P. 

It asked various agencies for help, but only the Salvation Army stepped up, resulting in a drug rehabilitation camp bringing in users and their families.

Lynette Hutson from Salvation Army addiction services said rather than an individualised treatment, this was done in a group.

"It drew on the strength of the group to be part of the support for recovery." 

Mongrel Mob Notorious member Edge Te Whaiti helped push for the first camp in Kakahi in 2009. He says apart from some relapses, overall the programme saw huge success.

"We couldn't keep up with it, and we couldn't if it was still going today.

"It's about the healing of that person and their family."

But from July the Hauora programme will no longer receive Government funding. 

The Ministry of Health told Newshub the wraparound service costs are too high for the small number of people reached, and instead priority will be given to programmes targeting larger groups.

Ms Hudson said the benefit of the programme was the flow-on effect. 

"Those first families, they support other families, and they support members of their larger whanau who are not part of the gang. So there are very positive rippling-out effects."

The Salvation Army has asked the Ministry of Health to review its decision.