Funding rehab with seized criminal assets 'feels right' - Health Minister

 Funding rehab with seized criminal assets 'feels right' - Health Minister
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Auckland City Mission will receive $16.7m from the Government to fund new drug and alcohol addiction treatment facilities, the Prime Minister announced today.  

The one-off funding will come from assets seized from criminals, which Health Minister David Clark says "feels right".  

Speaking with Lisa Owen on RadioLIVE drive this afternoon the Minister said: "The money that was taken from people who are most vulnerable and marginalised through drug dealing and other activities is being returned to help those vulnerable people."

The funding will go towards building two floors at the Mission's 'Home Ground' development, which once completed will bring detox bed numbers from 20 to 30.

The Minister says the on-going costs of the facility will be funded by district health boards, with no additional funding over what was already promised in this year's budget.  

Mr Clark says the new beds will be particularly welcome as the temporary facilities in use since 1982 are "really on their last legs."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the development will help turn lives around.

"I can't think of a better use of the funds recovered from the proceeds of crime than that."

According to the City Mission, when the facility first opened they were primarily treating alcohol addiction but now over 50 percent of people seeking care are addicted to methamphetamine.  

The current wait for a bed in the facility is 3 months and the project is expected to be completed in two years' time.  

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