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Funding announced to tackle meth harm in our regions

The Government has announced $20 million in funding for a set of regional schemes to tackle methamphetamine use, reduce harm, and support addicts.

Regional Economic Development Shane Jones and Police Minister Stuart Nash identified nine community-based providers across Northland, Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Tairāwhiti and Otago working to eliminate the use of meth in their regions.

Each will receive a portion of the total funding to scale up their programmes.

The recipient of the largest amount of funding is Manaaki Tairāwhiti's Whakapono Whānau programme, which will "deliver a support mechanism for addicts and whānau from recovery to work-ready status". It will receive $2.88 million for three years, assisting up to 350 whānau annually and creating 7.7 full-time jobs. 

"Meth use is killing regional New Zealand. Community and industry leaders have told us of the deep and widespread impact it is having," Minister Jones said.

"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.

"The Provincial Development Unit is working with Police and the Ministry of Health to identify regional providers who have programmes to reduce the harm, with a long-term plan to eliminate the drug from our regions."

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