28 Sep 2012

Gang member admits Whanau Ora drug fraud

2:18 pm on 28 September 2012

A gang member has pleaded guilty to using government funds to buy cannabis to then sell.

Three Dunedin-based signatories of a trust called We Against Violence were charged in May this year with using a $20,000 Whanau Ora grant to purchase the drugs.

Korrey Cook, 36, and regarded as the leader of the group, is the only one so far to admit the fraud.

He appeared on Friday morning in the Dunedin District Court and pleaded guilty to using the government money on cannabis, and to three other counts of possessing and conspiring to supply the Class C drug.

Cook was remanded in custody until he is sentenced on 23 October.

The two other trustees, who police say are known Mongrel Mob members, are yet to plead on the charges.

The New Zealand First Party has used the case several times to criticise the Government's Whanau Ora programme.