More checks will be carried out on health spending after more than $650,000 was stolen from the Canterbury District Health Board.
Rodney Mason, 57 was sentenced in the Christchurch District Court on Friday to three years and four months in prison for stealing to fund his gambling addition from 2006 - 2008.
Mason falsely applied for funds for clients he did not have and a programme that never happened.
The Ministry of Health says he was able to steal money intended for the running of an addiction treatment facility, because funding was dispensed on a basis of honesty.
The ministry says the incident has prompted it to analyse more claims which seem to be outside normal funding requests.