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Government announces $20 million to fight meth harm in regions

The Government has announced $20 million in funding today which aims to reduce the damage of methamphetamine use in communities in the regions. 

A file image of two "point bags" - typically used to store small quantities of powdered drugs like methamphetamine. Source: 1 NEWS

Provincial Growth Fund money will be directed to community-based providers in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Tairāwhiti and Otago to scale up programmes in the areas. 

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said meth use “is killing regional New Zealand”.

“People who use drugs cannot get and sustain employment. That is bad for workers, their whānau, local employers who need a reliable workforce and ultimately the regional economy,” he said.

“Some of the projects will target gangs. All projects will give support to children, whānau and grandparents dealing with issues around meth use.”

Police Minister Stuart Nash said police would work alongside iwi, whānau and local health and addiction services.

Police and Customs seized 1.8 tonnes of meth in 2019, three times as much as the previous year. 

As well, police busted 38 covert meth labs in the first half of 2020. 

Funding for programmes is also expected to create about 22 full-time jobs.

What’s being funded:

Northland

Hope House, Kaitaia - $1.38 million to upgrade facilities and engage with the community.

Ngāti Kahu’s Social and Health Services - $736,440 over three years to deliver the Atarau programme that will focus on prevention and early intervention strategies, focusing on personal growth for young people affected by meth.

Bay of Plenty

Eastern Bay Iwi Provider Alliance - $1.78 million over three years to provide individualised treatment and support services to address meth harm. The funding can support up to 80 people each year.

Manaaki Ora Trust - $476,677 for one year to develop a Māori focused detox facility in Rotorua.

Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti

Manaaki Tairāwhiti - $2,882,917 over three years to support addicts and families in recovery to becoming work-ready. It can help up to 350 families each year.

Te Pae Tawhiti Trust - $1,995,200 over three years to assist with addiction recovery and help people prepare for the workforce by providing an outpatient meth treatment programme in Wairoa. Funding can support up to 100 individuals and their whānau each year.

Te Roopu a Iwi Trust - $800,000 over two years to support grandparents raising their grandchildren when their parents are affected by drug addiction. The funding can support up to 40 families.

Te Ikaroa Rangatahi Social Services, Flaxmere - $720,000 over two years to work with whānau to reduce the negative impact of meth use in the region. Funding also supports workforce development in the addictions space. The funding can support 20 people and their families each year. 

Otago

Downie Stewart Foundation - $1.036 million over three years to upgrade its premises to support up to 42 people each year in rehabilitation programmes.