A Point On Public Health Measures In A Crisis – Whether Meth Addiction Or Covid Response


At present, it seems that the virus has moved into the Underworld – with several gangs reporting cases in the past week or so.

This is a different kind of challenge from a public health point of view – because it’s a different kind of environment, with people who are more effectively reached with different approaches than the conventional.

Hence why as soon as that Mongrel Mob gang pad out South turned out to be a Covid-19 hot-spot, the Ministry of Health didn’t just go “oh, well we’ll pick them up with the testing facility elsewhere in the community and regular contact tracing”.

Rather, as I recall, a pop-up testing facility was deployed near their front gate, and specialist liaison-work was undertaken with the gang to actually do contact-tracing for the movements of the Mobsters concerned.

I’m given to understand that some elements of this approach are also being employed with the more recent Black Power and Hells Angels situations.

- Sponsor Promotion -

Now why is this rather useful to note? Because it demonstrates that when you’re in an epidemic – a public health emergency – you can get hung up about who the Government “shouldn’t” be working with … or you can observe that working with some groups and individuals, whatever their reputation, may actually be rather important for the public health outcome’s success.

The Government wound up with a lot of malaise a few months ago when it turned out that it had approved Proceeds of Crime money to fund a certain meth-rehab programme. The purported degree of connection to the Mongrel Mob was, of course, breathlessly shouted by voices keen to pre-emptively declare the whole thing a fiasco – because, even leaving aside how limited it actually was, the core message from the opposition appeared to be “you can’t involve gangs in public health provision – even where the people who actually need to be reached for the public health provision are gang-members”.

Would those who decried thus apply similar logic to the Ministry of Health taking a purpose-based and bespoke approach to Covid-19 control measures outside that gang-pad eight days ago?

Or do we recognize that rolling out intervention-strategies designed to protect all of us can occasionally mean working with some of us in particular ways as best befits their circumstances and all of our collective needs.


    • Not if you approach them with that level of hostility they won’t. In general if you deal with them with a little respect they will do the right thing in their own way. Most likely informing contacts themselves (if they have reason to hide said contact) of the need to be tested or even agreeing as a organisation to be tested. Remember, they haven’t broken the law by catching covid.

  1. I think by the sounds of it, a free KFC meal with each vax will be an easy fix.

    2.7 million to an exmobster for a tiny, pilot where they failed to test the subjects were Meth addicts and using in the first place. BTW some of the gangs ban their members from using, as they don’t tend to be good employees! What a great scam to get more money, if the government can’t be bothered checking the most basic facts before handing over large amounts of cash.

    Plenty of more worthy rehab renters which are overflowing and oversubscribed. Maybe spend the money on putting the mobsters there or even better stop allowing the drug smugglers easy entry in NZ in the first place.

    Come to NZ, and be a drugs mule, your kids will thank you for it and have a life that NZ kids in Oranga Tamariki care, somehow don’t get to experience. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/how-oranga-tamariki-bungled-the-handling-of-baby-brought-to-new-zealand-by-drug-traffickers/LO6F3JTLB7UQF4YYDXP2NNAFVA/

    Seriously no wonder MIQ is so oversubscribed in NZ, criminals are making recruitment videos of how easy it is to commit crimes and make easy money here! https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/365583/punjabi-singer-gets-home-detention-for-drivers-licences-bribes

    So many ways to make easy money in NZ!

  2. I don’t believe you can compare the situation in the Waipawa meth rehabilitation program to the gang Covid issue in Auckland. In my opinion even if the Hawkes Bay gang members who are on meth get rehabilitated off the drug themselves, that doesn’t necessarily stop them them trading in the stuff. They are not the poor victims of meth, they pedal it. I live close to Waipawa and know of the people involved. I also know that the police and the community at large (who also know these people) don’t like the way the program is being administered.. Also one of those attending that course has since been sentenced for being an accomplice in trafficking meth. I also didn’t like the idea of those with gang connections administering the program and it’s finances even though we have been assured it would be closely monitored. I’m not against trying to rehabilitate gang members just don’t agree that this is the way. I totally agree with the way the government has gone about trying to liaise with the gangs to ensure contact tracing can be continued in Auckland.

  3. From this article I infer that the gang members are cooperating with the testing, tracing and vaccination program. This indicates their acknowledgment of the seriousness of the pandemic. A criminal element is more intelligent than another sector of society; anti-vaxers.

  4. This photo enrages me. This is the sort of thing the pigs do – I heard on the radio that they had put it on the bonnet of a cop car so the media could get a good photo. Disgusting stuff.

Comments are closed.