$800,000 funding to tackle P in new pilot programme

By Aroha Treacher

Helping gang members get off P is at the heart of a new $800,000 pilot programme Wakatika Ora run through charity organisation Consultancy, Advocacy and Research Trust (CART).

CART Trustee, Denis O'Reilly says, "When it gets down to our level it's mainly our whanau who are selling to cope with their own addiction and we've demonstrated we're not defeating supply.

So our only major alternative is to reduce demand and so treatment and rehabilitation are demand reducing devices."

The $800,000 funding was awarded to the group from the Ministry of Health as part of a two-year pilot programme where gang members help to reach other gang members.

"No, it's not a gang based organisation but it is prepared to engage with those who other people find it too hard or too difficult to work with.

We employ people like Eugene Ryder we work with hard to reach groups and many of those are members of the Black Power or Mongrel Mob or whoever they may be, Nomads, whatever."

CART has been working with gang members since 1989 and is based out of Wellington offering non-clinical services. 

"For those who need some clinical assistance to refer them on to clinical providers whether it be a day programme or a residential programme," explains O'Reilly.

The programme will initially target meth users and already it has around 100 people on the waiting list.