Festival drug-checking services will get an $800,000 boost from the Government this summer.
Health Minister Andrew Little announced on Saturday afternoon that the funding will be for national co-ordination of services, training of drug-checkers and providing information about the harm that drugs do.
He said the Government was supporting drug-checking services to help keep young people safe at this summer's large festivals and events.
"This is not about condoning drug use, but about keeping people safe," Little said.
"There is clear evidence that having drug-checking services at festivals changes behaviour and reduces harm."
Only people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to attend events and festivals.
Last summer was the first time that drug-checking services, in which drugs are checked to see if they are what people think they are, were made legal.
"Forty per cent of what users thought was MDMA, or ecstasy, was found to be eutylone, a potentially dangerous synthetic cathinone also known as bath salts and linked to deaths overseas and hospitalisations in New Zealand," Little said.
"Research by Victoria University on behalf of the Ministry of Health showed that 68 per cent of festival-goers who used drug-checking services changed their behaviour once they saw the results.
"Some disposed of the drugs that had been tested, some reduced the amount of drugs they took, and most (87 per cent) said that as a result of talking to the testing team, they understood more about the harmful behaviour involved in taking the drugs."
Little said the temporary legislation that allowed drug-testing services to operate last summer will be replaced by permanent legislation by the end of the year.
The Green Party has welcomed the funding, describing it as a "lifesaver".
But it said the Government needed to "go further, faster and expand" these services.
"The funding announced today for drug-checking services at festivals will save lives," Green Party Drug Reform spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick said.
"However, it's just a start. Drug checking services should be available to whoever needs them wherever they're needed, not subject to annual Government funding decisions. There must be funding for community-level drug checking, like we've had since the 1980s when we first introduced needle exchange services."
She said it was ludicrous to pretend that drug consumption only happened at music festivals and not also at bars, clubs and weekend parties.
"Those on the front line are the first to admit gatekeeping their services to only ticketed, expensive events limits harm reduction. Everyone who needs these services should have access," Swarbrick said.