Fighting meth harm in the regions

  • Hon Stuart Nash
  • Hon Shane Jones
Police Regional Economic Development

The Government is investing $20 million in regional programmes to reduce the damage methamphetamine use is causing to whānau, businesses, their communities and economies.

“Meth use is killing regional New Zealand. Community and industry leaders have told us of the deep and widespread impact it is having,” Regional Economic Development Minister Shane 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.

“So far, nine community-based providers - in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Tairāwhiti and Otago - have been identified to receive funding to scale up their programmes.

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

“Police work alongside communities to prevent and respond to meth harm”, Police Minister Stuart Nash said.

“Alongside iwi, whānau and local health and addiction services, we are co-designing ways to improve the wellbeing of our communities.

“A staggering 1.8 tonnes of meth was seized by Police and Customs during 2019, three times as much as the previous year. In the first half of 2020, Police busted 38 clandestine meth labs. 

“Many New Zealanders know someone through their family, workplaces or friendships who has been harmed by meth. They have seen first-hand the deterioration in loved ones caught in the grip of addiction.

“Innovative cross-agency programmes are already in place like Te Ara Oranga in Northland, which we want rolled out further around the country. But we know we can do more in provincial communities and this PGF funding will allow that to happen.

“Anyone affected by drug addiction should reach out for help. Free text 1737 for a trained counsellor. Members of the public who know about offending involving drugs can report it anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111,” Stuart Nash said.


Details of the nine recipients are below:


Hope House in Kaitaia will receive $1.38 million to upgrade its residential facility and support rehabilitation and re-engagement with the community.

Ngāti Kahu’s Social and Health Services will receive $736,440 to deliver the Atarau programme that will focus on prevention and early intervention strategies. The programme will foster personal growth changes for young people aged 13-24 affected by meth. The funding is for three years and will create two full time jobs.

Bay of Plenty

Eastern Bay Iwi Provider Alliance will receive $1.78 million to run Mauri Oho – Working to Reduce Harm of Methamphetamine 2020-2023, to provide individualised treatment and support services to address meth harm for whānau. Service support will be provided by four iwi health providers throughout the Eastern Bay of Plenty. The funding is for three years and will support up to 80 people each year.

Manaaki Ora Trust will receive $476,677 for a Māori focused detox facility in Rotorua. The funding will provide a specialised detox centre next to the residential facilities at Te Whare Oranga Ngakau. The funding is for one year to develop kaupapa service design, renovation, set-up and operational costs for three months.

Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti

Manaaki Tairāwhiti will receive $2,882,917 towards the Whakapono Whānau programme to deliver a support mechanism for addicts and whanau from recovery to work-ready status. The funding is for three years and will help up to 350 whānau each year. This programme creates 7.7 full time jobs.

Te Pae Tawhiti Trust will receive $1,995,200 for Te Whaiora Ara Tapu to assist with addiction recovery and related issues including preparation for the workforce.  The funding will provide an outpatient meth treatment programme in Wairoa and support up to 100 individuals and their whānau each year. The funding is for three years and will create five full time jobs.

Te Roopu a Iwi Trust will receive $800,000 to run Te Pihinga Ake which is a two-part programme that supports grandparents raising their grandchildren when their parents are unable to care for their children due to drug addiction. The funding is for two years and will support up to 40 families.  Four full time jobs will be created.

Te Ikaroa Rangatahi Social Services in Flaxmere will receive $720,000 to run Toi Hua Rewa. This programme scales up and expands a previous pilot programme. It will incorporate the PATH practice model to work with whānau to reduce the negative impact of methamphetamine use in the region. A key part of this programme also includes workforce development and upskilling of people in the addictions space. The funding will support 20 people and their whānau each year. The funding is for two years and four full time jobs will be created.


Downie Stewart Foundation will receive $1.036m to run Moana House’s Te Hautu Project. The funding will be used to upgrade its premises and for work and study programmes. The funding is for three years and will support up to 43 people each year in rehabilitation programmes and work and study.