Criminals to fund NZ's war on P

The Government is ploughing another $15 million into tackling New Zealand's meth problem.

The Prime Minister says the government will be putting $15 million towards tackling NZ's meth problem. Source: 1 NEWS

Around half of that ($8.7m) will go into addiction and health initiatives, while the rest will go to police and customs.

The new funds come from assets forfeited from criminals - around $138m since 2009. Around $31m has gone to tackling drug crime since then.

Tribal Huk says that as of Saturday morning, Ngaruawahia is clear of meth houses. Source: Breakfast

Addiction specialists say addicts are waiting up to two weeks for an assessment and as long as six months to get into treatment. Rural areas have poor or no access to addictions services.

Prime Minister John Key doesn't accept the Government is losing a war on P.

He says fewer people are using the drug, and a progress report is due to be published next month.

Mr Key said 15 initiatives will be funded. They are:

  • $2.14m to better identify P use among incoming prisoners and to pilot a prison treatment programme.
  • $900,000 to extend the intensive treatment programme at the Moana House Dunedin facility as well as its community care work.
  • $800,000 for a treatment service in Wellington with the Salvation Army.
  • $843,000 to pilot a programme aimed at preventing and addressing substance-related harm in schools.
  • $634,000 to build on efforts to prevent, identify and respond to foetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
  • $350,000 to extend the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court for a further year until its evaluation is complete.
  • $3m for a joint Police and Health initiative to reduce P demand in Northland.
  • $1.07m for the recovery of legal costs for actions taken under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009.
  • $1.65m to boost the Police Financial Crime Group and Asset Recovery Unit.
  • $720,400 to establish a New Zealand Customs presence at the International Targeting Centre in Washington DC to target methamphetamine flows into New Zealand from the Americas.
  • $760,000 for Customs to pilot an operational post in Hong Kong for two years to support multilateral operational activity and facilitate information exchange with Hong Kong, China and Taiwan Customs.
  • $505,000 to identify and stop precursors and illicit drugs at source in Southern China.
  • $732,000 to fund new Customs intelligence to disrupt and dismantle the supply of methamphetamine into New Zealand by overseas gangs.
  • $568,000 to upgrade existing and establish new Customs examination and exhibiting facilities in Auckland.
  • $35,000 to develop a plan for how to set up an early warning system for new and emerging illicit substances (such as psychoactive substances)