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Anderton Speech Drug Education Workshop Anti-Drugs

Jim Anderton comments at Drug Education Workshop Anti-drugs

Sovereign Centre, Willeston Street, Wellington Tuesday May 3, 2005 5 pm

Speech Notes

It is a pleasure to be here to discuss with school principals who have put their hand up to be trainers in drug education in order to meet the challenges and opportunities involved.

This is, as you know, part of our "Strengthening Drug Education in Schools," programme and will reach around 400 school principals.

I know I have met some of you individually – for example Richard Campbell of Paraparaumu College – with regard to getting interim funding for Welltrust. And some of you will have attended the P, Alcohol and Other Drugs Forums I have chaired in your area.

The next forum is in Whangarei on 12 May, so Madeline Armstrong of Pompallier College will be receiving an invitation soon.

I am delighted that these workshops have begun.

It was particularly important to me that the resource 'Strengthening Drug Education in School Communities,' which was developed by the Ministry of Youth Development last year, was not just another school resource that might be left on a shelf to gather dust.

To avoid that fate, I encouraged the Ministry of Youth Development and the Ministry of Education to get together and come up with a practical implementation plan, of which this workshop and the following ones are a part.

Research has shown that one-off programmes by outside providers are not effective and should only be used to strengthen the teaching of drug education as part of the health and education curriculum.

Of course funding was a bit of a sticking point, as it often is, but as leader of the coalition party in government, the Progressive Party, I managed to secure funding in the 2004 Budget round for a National Drug Policy Discretionary Grant Fund.

I suggested an application be made to that fund and my Labour colleagues on the Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy were supportive of allocating $30,000 to these workshops.

I believe the Ministry of Youth Development has also found another $15,000 to ensure as much coverage as possible.

These workshops support the Ministry of Education’s recommendation for schools to have a curriculum-based approach to drug education delivered by qualified teachers.

They will encourage schools to apply evidence-based drug education and to use the checklist for assessing the quality of external drug education providers or programmes when deciding to use them.

In this way, I believe these workshops will be an important addition to our education programmes to reduce the demand for drugs and I thank you again for playing your part.

Backgroundon National Drug Policy Discretionary Fund

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