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$15m for more 'P' health initiatives: Key

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/10/2016

Millions of dollars seized from criminals will be used to continue the fight against methamphetamines, the Prime Minister says.

John Key on Monday announced an almost $15 million funding package, including $8.7m for health-related initiatives including treatment.

Another $2.14m has been set aside to identify abusers who are incoming prisoners and to pilot a prison treatment programme.

"The official advice shows the number of people using P is declining. What I think is fair to say though is that those who are using the drug are the hardened end, they're using more of it," Mr Key said.

Mr Key said money had to be spent stopping importation, but ultimately it was demand that had to be cut.

Dunedin's Moana House will be the single biggest recipient of treatment-focused funds with $900,000 followed by $800,000 for the Salvation Army in Wellington.

A combined police and health focused initiative in Northland will receive $3m.

Mr Key also addressed a move by Ngaruawahia gang Tribal Huk to address the methamphetamine crisis in its own way, giving dealers 24 hours to leave the Waikato town.

"Obviously we welcome any support to do something like that so long as it's legal of course," he said.

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