13 Nov 2009

Addiction treatment centre for young Maori closing

3:25 pm on 13 November 2009

One of the country's two kaupapa Maori residential drug and alcohol centres for young people is to close because of funding cuts.

Mere Balzer from Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa says the Hamilton Urban Maori Authority's 12-bed Rongo Atea unit has lost funding from the Taranaki and Lakes district health boards, as well as one of its two contracts with its main funder, Waikato DHB.

Ms Balzer says the centre has been told it can apply for funding from the Government's Fresh Start youth justice initiative after April.

But she say its doors will be closed by then and the staff would be almost impossible to replace.