Judge frustrated by 'woeful' drug and alcohol rehab resourcing in Canterbury – Stuff.co.nz


Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish says the level of resourcing for the city’s alcohol and drug assessment service is totally unacceptable.

A judge has slammed Canterbury’s inadequate resourcing for drug and alcohol assessments after a report was declined for a 17-year-old up for sentencing.

Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish said the region had “woeful resources” and, even if people were in custody, assessments took three-and-a-half months to complete.

It was totally unacceptable, she said. In Auckland, reports took three weeks. The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), which funds Christchurch’s Alcohol and other Drugs Assessment Service (ADAS), has acknowledged the situation is “challenging”, but says considerable work is being done to improve it.


Rahiri Tai, 17, has been jailed by the Christchurch District Court for a string of offences – all involving alcohol.

Rahiri Tai, who was in court to be sentenced on Wednesday, had a very serious alcohol problem and could not remember any of his offending, the judge said.

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Defence counsel Ruth Harcourt said the drug and alcohol assessment request was declined by the Probation Department because there was not enough time to do it before Tai’s sentencing.

Corrections said on Friday the referral was completed by a probation officer on the same day. ADAS declined the referral, saying the requested timeframe requested could not be met.

Judge Farish said Tai stole three bottles of alcohol from Riccarton Liquorland on January 8.

The day after, he approached two tourists in a motel car park, assaulted the man and demanded his car keys. A woman intervened and was punched and kicked, before they gave him the keys.

He was

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