The Bay of Plenty is one of the regions to get a slice of the $20 million the Government has allocated to programmes working to fight methamphetamine in the community.
The announcement was made in a press statement this morning by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister of Police Stuart Nash.
The $20m in regional programmes will go to reducing the damage methamphetamine use causes to whānau, businesses, 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," 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."
Nine community-based providers in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Tairāwhiti and Otago, will receive the 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," Jones said.
Nash said police, alongside iwi, whānau and local health and addiction services, were co-designing ways to improve the wellbeing of the community.
"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," Nash said.