NZ Gang Members Received $525 Million in Benefit Payments

March 1, 2016 New Zealand Finance

3 627 gang members in New Zealand have received welfare payments since 1993, with member receiving an average NZD 132 000 each over their lifetimes.

On March 1st the Ministry of Social Development of New Zealand released a new report with findings on the cost that gang members have on social and welfare systems in place in the country.

It is estimated that over the period between January 1st 1993 and December 31st 2014 gang members in New Zealand received approximately NZD 382 million in payments as part of the main benefit, with an additional NZD 143 million as part of further supplementary benefits, such as the accommodation allowance.

The total welfare payments of NZD 525 million made to gang members is estimated to equate to approximately NZD 132 000 per member.

Currently 3 960 adult gang members are known in New Zealand, and 3 627 of them have received benefit payments during their lifetime.

It was further estimated that the “…lifetime-to-date total cost to Child, Youth and Family from the adult gang members and their children was at least $189 million.”

The release of the new report coincides with the launch of the Gang Intelligence Center, which aims to collate data from various government departments on gang members and their families, while also providing new programs to help disrupt gang activity and help current gang members quit and return to non-criminal life.

Photo By: Feans