The Prime Minister provides a high level overview of Budget 2013.
Prime Minister John Key today released the latest Indicators and Progress Report for the Government’s Tackling Methamphetamine Action Plan, and says while the picture of methamphetamine (P) supply in New Zealand remains a complex one, the efforts of law enforcement agencies are continuing to produce positive signs.
“When the Government began this plan in 2009, New Zealand had one of the highest prevalence rates of P use in the world, with 2.1 per cent of the population using the drug. The latest data shows this rate has more than halved to 0.9 per cent.
“While this is positive, the reality is there are still around 25,000 longer-term, heavy users of the drug, who are locked in a cycle of dependence, causing misery and angst for them, their families and loved ones,” says Mr Key.
“Support for P users through both the justice and health systems is available. Waiting times for community alcohol and drug services have steadily been improving, and are markedly better than in 2009.
“The Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court Pilot began at the end of last year in the Auckland and Waitakere District Courts, and the Department of Corrections has increased the number of treatment places available to prisoners with drug and alcohol problems to over 1,000.”
Mr Key says a process for allocating money forfeited to the Crown under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act and earmarked to fund drug and alcohol rehabilitation initiatives will be in place later this year.
“It is expected around $8 million will initially be available for these initiatives, as well as for targeted law enforcement tools for Customs and Police.”
Mr Key says there are other encouraging signs, including the rise in the price of a point of P, and suggestions the purity of P is declining.
“Since this plan was established, the price of P has remained relatively high, which indicates officials’ efforts to squeeze the P trade is having an effect. However, this report also shows the price for larger quantities of P is decreasing. While this emerging trend isn’t borne out by latest Police and Customs intelligence, it’s an indicator that needs to be closely watched in the coming months.
“It’s vital law enforcement agencies continue to be vigilant in this area and continue to apply pressure to those manufacturing and trading in this illegal drug,” says Mr Key.
The report is available at:
The National-led Government's fifth Budget, which we released to New Zealand last week, has been extremely well received. That's because it delivers in the areas that matter, and it supports our families who need it most.
When I spoke in Parliament on the Budget last week, it was great to have the chance to talk about our success in Government. I also took the Opportunity to point out that the opposition have adopted our mixed ownership policy as their own.
Watch my latest video to see exactly what I said.