A senior minister will continue to work with the woman spear-heading access to medicinal cannabis despite her being investigated by police.
Toni-Marie Matich, co-founder of United in Compassion (UIC), was last year thrust into the public eye through her work with Children's Commissioner Russell Wills, the NZ Drug Foundation and Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne, to broaden access to medicinal cannabis.
Police confirmed last month they were investigating Matich, who allegedly owes $78,000 to hundreds of ticket-buyers.
Sarah Stevenson, of Wellington, started a Facebook conversation with friends who were all waiting for tickets they had bought from Matich. The conversation quickly grew to include 50 people.
Stevenson said she spoke to police in December after getting a friend to send Matich money for Elton John tickets, which she never received.
But Matich says the correct figure owed is $55,000 and she is in the process of re-mortgaging her home to pay people back as soon as possible.
"For many many years without personal gain or issue I was able to purchase and supply friends and family with discounted tickets to events, as well as often free tickets through a point person."
Despite the investigation and rumours surrounding Matich, Dunne, who is responsible for signing off on medicinal cannabis applications, said he is happy to continue to work with her on better access to the drug.
Matich said it was an old school friend who provided the tickets who one day "fell off the face of the earth".
"This however came to a head and at a time when I could have made better decisions as to how to best manage the situation, I did not, and the flow on effect of that has been immense," she said.
Both Matich and trustees of UIC confirmed none of the proceeds from ticket sales went into the trust's bank accounts.
Matich, a mother of five, first started advocating for medicinal cannabis when she became aware of its benefits for her daughter who suffers from intractable epilepsy - a seizure disorder that can't be controlled with conventional medicines.
Children's Commissioner Russell Wills is Matich's daughter's paediatrician and has supported Matich in her campaign for medicinal cannabis.
Wills said Matich had done a great job of raising awareness of medicinal cannabis and politicians and officials understood the benefits of it, "we just need to allow that process to take its course".
"There's no reason for Toni's situation to affect that," he said.
Matich said due to being hospitalised for "sensitive and personal reasons that I do not wish to disclose" affected ticket buyers were left with "little understanding of the situation".
"This has resulted in angry, frustrated and hurt people and I am extremely empathetic to all genuinely affected."
"From day one of knowing there was a supply issue I have always focussed on reimbursement and still am."
Matich said the situation has become so inflamed it has felt like a "witch-hunt".
"I wish to remain focussed on the truth of the issue and reimbursing those genuinely owed, this is being currently worked on as fast as possible considering the circumstances."
Matich says the events have "emotionally and mentally" affected her five children and she believes she was targeted because of her "positive work on the medicinal cannabis issue and due to political reasons".
"I am disappointed at my role as CEO of UIC being dragged into this. Never at anytime were ticket funds misappropriated to the charity," she said.