This section is dedicated to providing news items within New Zealand and to celebrate events that have occurred.  This page is interactive and is updated as events happen.

If you have a news item or a celebration that you would like us to highlight, please send your write up and pictures to Akatu Marsters on


What's New

Do you like to keep updated with what is happening in the Mental Health & Addiction sector nationally but get annoyed going from website to website?  Look no further, we have made things easier and collated up to date information from various MH&A websites to keep you informed.

   Jan 2015  
              Nov /Dec 2014
Oct 2014  Sept 2014  Aug 2014
Jul 2014 May 2014 Apr 2014
Mar 2014 Feb 2014 Jan 2014
Sep 2013 Aug 2013 Jul 2013
Jun 2013 May 2013 Apr 2013
Mar 2013 Feb 2013 Jan 2013
Dec 2012 Oct 2012 Sep 2012
Aug 2012 Jul 2012 Jun 2012
May 2012 Apr 2012 Feb 2012


Latest National Publications

He Kai I Nga Rangatira - He Korero o Nga Whanau Whaiora

People with lived experience of mental health challenges and receiving mental health services attended a one day hui in Auckland to share their thoughts of being under the mental health act and of acute mental health care. The hui encouraged shared discussions with key reflections, aspirations and insights.

The core themes identified by the participants of being under the mental health act, included not understanding the compulsory assessment and treatment process, and experiencing the converse to mental health professional advice on what was going to occur under the act. Some viewed the act as a bargaining tool to get out of the mental health unit quicker, others viewed the act as providing a false sense of security for access to medication with significant implications to livelihoods after being in acute care, with examples of overt discrimination. Lastly, the struggle to being released from the mental health act.

The core themes identified of acute mental health unit care included the recognition that admissions to hental health units usually occurred under the mental health act, also that acute care was provided in locked up and fenced in properties. The determination and motivation of treatment provided in units was mental health professional led. That the demand on acute beds nationally is in crisis with issues concerning the lack of an acute model of care which is contributing to early discharges of people, their placement in other areas because they continue to need support. Two overwhelming issues for participants was the lack of choice for acute mental health care, and the processes conducted with seeking consumer input into the build of new units where there is little will to change to consumer and whanau centred processes.

Participants identified three solutions to improve the effectiveness of mental health services to Maori, these included more Maori strategies to overcome challenges, with better access to Maori cultural approaches, and meaningful activities and programmes to foster connections to being Maori. A stronger Maori consumer voice and a centralised data base system, with recommendations for further action.

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Maori Mental Health Nursing: Growing Our Workforce

Maori mental health nurses have an important role in shaping the way health and social services respond to people with experience of mental health and/or addiction issues (Ministry of Health, 2012), as well as in supporting Maori whanau to achieve whanau ora (Te Puni Kokiri, 2013). With solutions to M?ori wellbeing able to be found within Maori models, Maori whanau and the Maori workforce (Turia, cited in Baker,

2010), increasing the numbers of Maori health professionals is a recognised strategy by which to improve access to both health services, and holistic care models (Ratima, Brown, Garrett, Wikaire, Ngawati, Aspin, & Potaka, 2007). Maori mental health nurses are an indigenous response to effectively meeting the mental health and/or addiction needs of tangata whaiora and their whanau.

Despite it being widely recognised that a capable and competent Maori health workforce is central to improving health outcomes for Maori, little attention has been paid to the development of indigenous health practitioners as specialists in their own right (Baker & Levy, 2013). The complementary interface between indigenous and western knowledge bases is at the centre of unique and distinctive indigenous health practice, however support required for this interface to be fully explored and developed is yet to occur across health disciplines, includingnursing (Baker & Levy, 2013). As Maori mental health nurses it is critical that we continue to lead and develop our own mental health and addiction models of care, solutions and strategies.

As Aotearoa is challenged to increase and retain the Maori nursing workforce, various strategies seek to build on our successes to date in order to realise a highly valued Maori nursing workforce (Te Rau Matatini, 2009). It is through the message "Every whanau should have a Maori Nurse" that we aim to increase access for all whanau to Maori nurses, and to assist whanau, hapu and iwi to increase the capacity and capability of Maori mental health nurses to work across the health and disability sector.

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The State of Care Report 2015

Why this is called the ‘State of Care’ report. Care has many meanings. Children in the formal custody of the State are “in care.” This report is partly about the state of the care and services they receive. Care also has a more general meaning: to protect someone and provide for their needs. This report is also about how well the State cares for all vulnerable children in this more general sense.


CYF plays a lead role in delivering both of these functions.

CYF works with some of the most vulnerable children in New Zealand. We can all do more for these children. In 2013 we refreshed our framework for monitoring CYF. We decided to produce an annual public report to increase the transparency of our work and raise the profile of these children. I am delighted to be able to share it with you now.

While we were writing this report, the Minister of Social Development appointed the Modernising CYF Expert Panel (referred to throughout this report as the Expert Panel) to develop a business case for the modernisation of CYF. I welcome this review as an opportunity to get to the heart of the issues facing our care and protection system and identify ways to improve the system and achieve better outcomes. Because of my office’s legislative mandate and resources, we are limited in what we can monitor and the scope of recommendations we can make. I hope this report provides useful input for the Expert Panel’s more detailed review of CYF.

As you read through this report I would like you to remember what it was like to be a child; time moves slowly, any little changes in your routine are unsettling, and your family is central to your world. Then try to imagine what life is like for the thousands of New Zealand children who suffer abuse and neglect, or are removed from their family and placed into state care each year. Life for them has already been chaotic and confusing – they may have been harmed or mistreated, have severe behavioural issues, or have committed a criminal offence.

Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti arahia o tatou mahi - this whakatauki urges us to let the uniqueness of the child guide our work. With this in mind, this report makes some challenging statements about the care and services these children receive, primarily from CYF, but also from other agencies.

These are not new issues. CYF has been trying to address many shortcomings, and in some areas it is making progress. It is responding positively to our new monitoring reports and recommendations, and working on improvements as a result. This willingness to take feedback on board is welcome and appreciated, and will be necessary to allow CYF to shift from where it is now to where it needs to be.

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Understanding Whanau-Centred Approaches - Analysis of Phase 1 Whanau Ora Research & Monitoring

Implementation and impacts of whanau-centred approaches

A thematic analysis, based on responses from over 260 research and monitoring reports, was undertaken to better understand the development of whanau-centred approaches and how these led to wh?nau gains.

The analysis identified five overlapping themes essential to the implementation of a whanau-centred approach. All themes are anchored in te ao Maori (the Maori world) with practices shaped by whanaungatanga (relationship, kinship) as a tool for connecting and building wh?nau strengths. The five themes are:

Collectives adopted several strategies to address these themes. Their actions were effective in generating high levels of trust among whanau, whanau engagement with providers, motivation, a positive attitude, cultural and whanau connectedness, new skills and tools, greater awareness of resources and access to services, and participation in relevant courses. These initial impacts paved the way for further gains, and were seen even among whanau in crisis. Click here to read the full report otherwise, click here for the Whanau Ora Workforce Development Summary.

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More Effective Social Services - August 2015

Social services play a vital role in the wellbeing of New Zealanders. The Commission was pleased – and somewhat daunted – to be asked to carry out this inquiry. It was clear from the outset that success would depend on the support of the many people and organisations, both outside and within government, with deep knowledge and experience in the design and delivery of social services. I am very happy to report that we received that support.

The Commission received 246 submissions and held more than 200 meetings with participants. People were very generous with their time and expertise, contributing enormously to our understanding of the issues and to our recommendations. I would like thank all those who made these valuable contributions, and sincerely hope this report does them justice.  Click here to read the full report.

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He Panui Papaho - Te Pou Matakana

The chair of the North Island Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency commented today on the Productivity Commission’s report on more effective social services.

“The report clearly demonstrates the value and efficacy of Wh?nau Ora and our commissioning for outcomes approach", said Merepeka Raukawa-Tait. 

Te Pou Matakana (TPM) was launched in July 2014 as part of the government’s decision to move the funding and funding decisions for Wh?nau Ora closer to the community.

“Wh?nau are at the centre of everything we do. We work with wh?nau and providers to identify wh?nau needs and co-design services to meet those needs", said Ms Raukawa-Tait.  Click here to read more. 



Adolescents and Depression
SPARX is a self-help internet-based E-therapy programme, developed for young people who may be experiencing mild to moderate depression or anxiety

For those of you who may not be aware, this interactive website named SPARX (ref attached) was launched during April 2014 and has been developed for youth exhibiting symptoms of depression. It has been funded by the MoH, developed by experts in the field from the University of Auckland as is part of the Prime Minister's youth mental health work stream.

Click here for the Sparx Mental Health Release
Click here for Sparx Youth update

Key Messages

Young people
Be the Change. Lead the way. Embrace diversity and difference. Small actions can make big changes in world. Support your mates and their changes. Grow, challenge yourself, try something different. Create a movement of change.

Champion young people, acknowledge what they contribute. Be supportive of young people’s passion and enthusiasm; give them the tools to take action. Be a positive role model for young people. Embrace diversity.  Celebrate young people’s successes. Be part of a movement of change.

Quotes for 'Be the Change':

“Be the change you want to see in the world” - Gandhi 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

Creating Transformative Change Workshop - November 2015

The workshop
This three day workshop enables practitioners from diverse backgrounds and agencies to explore change processes when working with individuals, groups and families. It draws on strengths-based and community development approaches and provides opportunities for participants to learn new knowledge and skills in working with complex situations alongside clients who are facing challenges in their daily lives including family issues such as parenting, and working with children and young people, mental health issues, drug and alcohol, grief and loss. It is an experiential course and gives practitioners many opportunities for reflecting on their practice and learning new skills for working with clients and for implementing these ideas into their agency.

The workshops have been running for several years now and they are targeted at practitioners from NGOs and statutory agencies who are interested in advancing their practice and seeking new ways to work with individuals and groups. It has a broad focus on strengths and community development approaches and enables participants to develop their skills in working with individuals and groups. In the past we have had participants from health, mental health, welfare, disability, education and a wide range of practitioners including social and community workers, counsellors, support workers, youth workers, managers, teachers, policy makers and funders. A major focus is on building collaborative practice and being able to work across agencies and disciplines. We always receive excellent feedback from participants who take their skills back to their agencies. Many comment on the relationships they build with other participants that are often maintained when they return to their workplaces.

The facilitators are highly experienced practitioners and the workshop is held on site at Te Aroha Noa, Palmerston North, so that participants are able to observe the implementation of the change strategies presented in the workshop.

This workshop can be counted as continuing professional education and participants receive a certificate to confirm their participation in this workshop. If you would like more information on the content of the course please contact: Robyn Munford on r.mundford "at" or Bruce Maden on bruce.maden "at"

For more information about registration pleaes contact Sheryl Kirkiri on s.kirikiri "at"  If you are interested in research on families and young people see also our website  Please click here for the Tranformative Change Brochure and here for the Working With Families flyer.

National Rangatahi Suicide Prevention Conference - 02 - 04 October at Ratana Pa

He Tirohanga Whakamua is a weekend conference inviting rangatahi from around the motu to Ratana Pa, to develop an indigenous based Suicide prevention toolkit and prevention strategy for rangatahi by rangatahi.

This initiative was a direct response to the call by the Honorable Minister of Maori Affairs Te Ururoa Flavell at the Turamarama ki te Ora conference held in Rotorua earlier this year. Mr Flavell urged participants at the conference to guide how current Government suicide prevention funding for Maori could be better placed.

From that conference, rangatahi presenters at the conference, Mauriora Tawaroa-Takiari (Whanganui / Ngati Maniapoto/Nga Puhi) and Rongomaitawhiri Ah-Ching (Whanganui / Ngati Maniapoto /Samoa) sent out a message to key members of the conference, initiating the idea of holding a national rangatahi for rangatahi conference.

This initiative has been planned for the 2/3/4 October 2015, at Ratana Pa, Whanganui - please click here for programme and flyer.

Healthy Adolescent Development. A Day with Sue Bagshaw 

Thursday 19th November 

Dr Sue Bagshaw is a legend in the field of youth health. This seminar will be of interest to professionals working with youth. It will be a practical, skill-based seminar and a wonderful opportunity to learn from a very special practitioner. The sessions will cover key skills and attitudes needed to be a youth-friendly professional, a youth development model of care, growing up in today's world, youth sexual health, drug and alcohol issues, and mental health issues. Click here for more information. 

Mauri Ora: Realising Maori Potential. with Professor Sir Mason Durie 
Thursday 26th November 

This seminar will focus on attitudinal shifts by the incorporation of Maori values and Maori world views into education, health, and social services. It will help professionals understand more fully the issues that need to be addressed and what is actually happening in this area. Participants will develop a deeper understanding of Maori values and how these can be incorporated into professional practices in order to develop the potential of Maori. Click here for more information. 

Restorative Conference Facilitation Skills 
A 3 Day Workshop with Margaret Thorsborne - June 2016 

2015 workshops are already full. We are currently taking registrations for 2016 - final dates will be confirmed later this year. This workshop will be of interest to anyone who would like to learn the skills of being a restorative conference facilitator. At the end of the 3-Day intensive workshop, participants will be able to confidently lead a restorative conference. Places are very limited, make sure you don't miss out. Click here for more information. 

NGO Newletter - September Edition

NGO Council elections soon; lots of information from the Ministry; and an opportunity to do some study - you know you want to! Click on this link to get to the update 

The September edition will highlight the following areas:

From the Ministry of Health's Library - Grey Matter 
* Ministry of Health media releases 
* New Ministry of Health publications 
* Other government health and disability websites 
* My DHB 

NGO Council information 
* Vacancies on the NGO Council 

Ministry of Health information 
* Nominations sought for National Kaitiaki Group 
* New Zealand ShakeOut update 
* National Health IT Board August 2015 newsletter 
* August 2015 Disability Support Services newsletter 
* Medsafe - Prescriber Update 
* Ministry of Health website: 

Other government agencies 
* Productivity Commission - More effective social services report available: September 2015 
* Central Region Stroke Network - Seeking a Consumer Rep 
* Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit - Superu 
* Office for Disability Issues Newsletter - September 2015 

NGO information 
* Mental Health Foundation - handbook now available 
* Places to find NGO information 

Training, education, resources and conferences
* Unitec: Graduate Diploma and Certificate in Not for Profit Management & Leadership 
* Diabetes New Zealand 2015 Conference and AGM 
* Asthma Foundation Respiratory Conference 
* Volunteering New Zealand Conference - 'e tu' 
* Events included in previous updates 

Other information
* Mental Health Awareness Week, 5-11 October. 
* Kai time keeps Kiwis connected - Statistics NZ 

New Zealand Suicide Prevention Action Plan

The New Zealand Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2013–2016 outlines a programme of actions that the Government will implement over the next four years.  It is a cross-government Action Plan bringing together the work of eight agencies.  The Action Plan builds on the previous action plan covering 2008–2012.  Both action plans reflect the goals of the New Zealand Suicide Prevention Strategy 2006–2016.  (Click here to view the Action Plan)

The Action Plan includes actions designed to:

National Dementia Cooperative Update May 2014

National Dementia Cooperative Update March 2014

National Dementia Cooperative Update May 2013

National Dementia Cooperative Update April 2013

National Dementia Cooperative Update March 2013

National Dementia Cooperative Update February 2013

National Dementia Cooperative Update January 2013