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Contract to ‘power up’ community on drug issues

2 March 2004
Press release

Contract to ‘power up’ community on drug issues

Local communities will be better able to tackle drug issues head on as the result of a new contract between Waitakere City Council and the Ministry of Health.

The focus of the ‘Community Action on Youth and Drugs’ project is on increasing the community’s ability to address the social and family harm associated with the misuse and abuse of drugs. The project will be publicly launched at a “Community Summit on Drugs” in the Waitakere City Council chambers (9am-1pm) on April 2.

The Council’s role is one of facilitator - providing the means for community stakeholders to get together to debate and confirm the issues, needs and priorities and to agree on and develop appropriate strategies and action plans.

It is one of 15 such projects funded by the Ministry of Health and in Waitakere’s case, the Ministry took into account the Council’s proactive stance with respect to drug issues under Mayor Bob Harvey’s leadership and its long history of working collaboratively to achieve community wellbeing outcomes.

Mayor Harvey says the contract gives Waitakere City a timely opportunity to significantly “power-up” its community awareness of, and responsiveness to, drug issues.

“It’s an absolute priority that we meet this challenge of drugs in our community. I view P as an absolute evil in Waitakere and that is why I support this project 100 percent. It is about reducing the supply of drugs to our young people, supporting our young people and strengthening the community to keep our kids safe.”

A steering group of key community stakeholders has been established, with Councillor Greg Presland as the Council’s representative.

“While the Council and Safe Waitakere are providing the initial impetus for the project, it will essentially be a community-owned project,” he says.

Ends

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