Te Hanga Whaioranga Mo Te Iwi - Building Healthy Communities


Tapsell Honoured for Indigenous Mental Health Mahi

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has given Dr Rees Tohiteururangi Tapsell its Mark Sheldon Prize for outstanding contribution to indigenous mental health.

Dr Tapsell is Waikato District Health Board’s director of clinical services and also heads its area of mental health services.

Since gaining his post-graduate fellowship in psychiatry in 1998 he has worked alongside other Maori leaders like Sir Mason Durie to shape Maori mental health development and service delivery for over a decade and half.

He has also been an active member of the college, including serving as a councilor and the chair of its Te Kaunihera committee, which provides advice and support on issues relating to Maori.


A Winning Formula Changes Lives

Winners of the Not for Profit category award, Progress to Health, are not resting on their laurels. Whilst enjoying the enhanced credibility flowing in from the people and organisations they work with they are busy developing their service to meet future growth - given an increase in clientele of 25% in the past 12 months.

Progress to Health CEO, Karen Covell, attributes their win to the outstanding service provided by all staff on a daily basis. “They have a passion for reconnecting individuals to their communities. We work to support people, predominantly those living with mental health issues, make positive changes in their lives by achieving personal goals. This award validates years of hard work to reach a level of excellence” said Karen.

The Progress to Health team evaluates the effectiveness of what they do each and every day through their clients. “Watching the people who use our services achieve whatever goal they’ve set themselves, seeing people choose to return to achieve another goal and the steady stream of referrals tells us we are on the right track.”

The team is excited to offer a new service for businesses and employers that will be launched in 2014. This will raise awareness of mental illness and provide support as needed direct into the workplace.

With the winner’s trophy sitting proudly on display at their offices it serves as a daily reminder of their vision to deliver an excellent service whilst developing successful new initiatives in the future to serve their growing client base.


Southern and Northern Waikato Take A Stand Against Synthetic Drugs

Agencies across New Zealand are working in partnership with communities to prevent harm associated with the sale of synthetic cannabis.  Communities are making a stand which has had a great impact to the sale and legislation of the synthetic drug.  The most powerful statement are locals banning this altogether and challenging the local retailers to stop selling the drug or lose the business generated by everyday customers, this is widely endorsed in the community.

Both Southern and Northern Waikato has made a stand against the drug, if you want to know what your community has done and want to be part of the change just Google your local town to see where your community is up to, for making change.

Synthetic drugs are chemically laced substances similar to marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine that are sold over the counter at some convenience stores, gas stations, tobacco shops and sex shops.

 Based on their chemical make-up, these drugs are commonly divided into two categories:



Though the drug packaging states the products are not intended for human consumption, their design, labelling and marketing clearly allude to the products being smoked and/or inhaled as a drug.


One reason that synthetic drugs are extremely dangerous is that buyers don’t know what chemicals they are ingesting.  Individual products can contain a vast range of different chemical formulations and potencies, some of which can be two to 500 times stronger than THC.

Written by Noeline Kuru