More than $1 million of government funding came as a surprise for Northland drug counsellor Faye Murray and will help in her effort to rehabilitate methamphetamine addicts.

Murray and her husband Tim run Hope House in Kaitaia which will receive $1.38m to upgrade its residential facility and support rehabilitation and re-engagement with the community.

A further $736,440 has been allocated to Ngāti Kahu's Social and Health Services 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 to 24 who are affected by meth.


The funding is for three years and will create two full-time jobs.

It's part of the $20m the government is investing in regional programmes throughout New Zealand to reduce meth harm.

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Faye Murray said the much-needed funding would enable the couple to increase the number of individual cabins from the present 7 to 20, and to build an ablution block and a room.

The Murrays have been running the house since 2013.

She said a team from the Provincial Growth Fund visited before Covid lockdown to learn about the work she and Tim were doing and the next thing she heard was news of the funding to further strengthen their work.

"I am over the moon. We didn't think we'd get the funding because there are businesses that are struggling more, not to say our need wasn't great.

"Methamphetamine is far more prominent than marijuana and alcohol and far easily accessible. Apart from counselling, we also run holiday programmes for children for one week because many people don't have a good relationship with their children," she said.


The cabins are allocated to individuals as well as couples for a minimum of three months and a maximum of 12 months.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said the Provincial Development Unit was 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.

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

"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.

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