Previous National Government gave $30,000 to Mongrel Mob member Harry Tam's Hard 2 Reach

Newshub can reveal the previous National Government gave tens of thousands of dollars to Mongrel Mob member Harry Tam's Hard 2 Reach programme.

It's the very same programme they've been slamming the Government for funding. But National leader Judith Collins says it'll never happen again on her watch. 

Ganging up on gangs is a favourite pastime of the National Party. Collins has described them as "a huge problem", while National MP Simeon Brown told Newshub Nation there's been a "massive increase in gang membership and violence". 

Most recently, National has been taking the Government to task over giving $2.75 million to Mongrel Mob member Harry Tam.

"It is absolutely wrong to give the Mongrel Mob money to get the Mongrel Mob off meth because the Mongrel Mob are the people that put the Mongrel Mob on meth in the first place," Collins told Newshub. 

The money went to a company called Hard 2 Reach, of which Tam is a director. The funding was granted to provide methamphetamine addiction treatment.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has fiercely defended funding the programme. But Collins is not letting up, asking Ardern in Parliament on Wednesday if she knows the exact details of the programme she funded. 

"...that participants would be gardening at Notorious Chain Dog President Sonny Smith's house," Collins said in Parliament with a snigger. 

But National also funded the Mongrel Mob-linked programme. 

"The member should be familiar with hard 2 Reach - her Government funded it also," Ardern said in Parliament. 

"Actually, the Prime Minister is wrong. The National Government funded the Salvation Army to run a programme with some of these gang members," Collins told Newshub. 

"Is the Prime Minister aware there is a difference between the Salvation Army and the Mongrel Mob?" she said in Parliament. 

But Newshub can reveal that separately to the Salvation Army funding, National gave Harry Tam's company Hard 2 Reach, also known as H2R Research and Consulting, $30,000.

The $30,000 was granted in July 2017 when National were in power, by the Ministry of Social Development, as part of a programme that aimed to address family violence.  

"I do have a real problem giving those who beat up their spouses money to stop beating up their spouses. Just stop doing it!" Collins says. "Certainly I would never sign off on it - I can promise you this: A Government I lead will never do that."

Ardern accused Collins of flip-flopping. 

"When in Government, the member has one view, and when in Opposition, takes a vastly different one."

Labour is also sticking the boot in over Collins calls for a referendum on the use of 'Aotearoa'.

"When the member was the Minister for Ethnic Communities she also had no issue with celebrating the use of the word Aotearoa," Ardern said in Parliament. 

Tough on crime usually works for the National Party and they've been banging on about gangs till they're blue in the face. But this time failing to check their own history has left them with egg on their face.