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Summer Issue 10 - January 2020

Summer Issue 10 - January 2020

SteveGuest Editorial: Steve Neale (Workforce Planning Lead, MRMHA)

I am stunned to find myself back at my desk writing this! It seems like only last week I was headed off on my Summer Break - cruising the gorgeous, sun-soaked East Cape beaches in a clapped-out Honda Odyssey, my son by my side, tent in the back and not a care in the world! How could three weeks possibly fly-by like it was only one? I clearly remember that I was heading off for “ages”!

By a strange twist of fate, I was asked to assemble the Midland Region Mental Health and Addiction Summer Newsletter. In some ways a bit of an honour I think – in others quite the challenge! You see, I found myself, on return, with real bad writer’s block. I am tasked with writing a revised Workforce Strategy off the back of our Wānanga, the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction and to make it fit with all the policies and strategic priorities that we are surrounded with. And I really struggled! I just couldn’t seem to get my head back into writing big words and complex ideas, attempting to make them easy to understand AND engaging!

Of course my first thought was to write this terribly, so I never get invited to take the task on again! But I have way too much respect for our stakeholders, readers and audience, so I shall do my best to make this work. Hilariously, writing like this is far more fun than strategy-writing, so I am taking a little time out from that complex beast to compile this newsletter to you all… And I am finding it easier and easier as I go! I think it is all about the connection you see - writing this helps me to feel connected with each of you. And that reminds me that recovery is all about connection. Perhaps you can help me to recover from the shock of returning to my mahi? Thank you!

I hope that you all had a great festive season. I hope that the sun shone gloriously upon you and your loved ones. I hope that you got some time out with whānau / friends, and to do whatever puts you at ease. I hope that you somehow connected along the way. Finally, I hope that you enjoy the read.

Leading out this quarter are a couple of pieces shared by whānau that we know in the region. The first is an article about Janine Mullin, from Taranaki, who developed an “Instruction Manual” for her whānau to understand and help her to manage her anxiety – what a phenomenal idea! https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/117815061/taranaki-woman-launches-instruction-manual-for-understanding-her-anxiety

The second was forwarded by a colleague who came back from a very tough place last year. She gained a whole lot of comfort from an article that she found on a blog by John Pavlovitz. The article takes the form of “a letter to those wanting to leave this life”. He called it “If You Stick Around - click here for the letter.

I hope that you will find it informative, engaging, if perhaps provocative in places. But I also hope that you enjoyed the inspired responses to the challenges that we find ourselves with. Don’t forget to stay up-to-date with our mahi at https://www.midlandmentalhealthnetwork.co.nz/. And finally, don’t forget to stay well and safe – and if you cannot do that, please do reach out to another – we are all in this together!

To read the articles featured in our Summer newsletter click the links below:


Winter Issue 9 - July 2019

Welcome to our Winter Newsletter.  I hope that this winter has not been too hard on you health wise.  Thank you Taranaki for sharing your flu virus with us out of towners.

This newsletter features Caleb Putt, Portfolio Manager, Bay of Plenty, Sue Philipson, Families Overcoming Addiction, Taranaki and Nat Browning, Author and Lived Experience Expert, Rotorua.  It is exciting to see all the work that contributes to our mental health and addiction space. 

He Waka Roimata: Transforming our Criminal Justice System is very topical given our national statistics on our prison population.  We have included a link to the report and it is worth reading to get a full understanding.  As a Regional Network we will be discussing the report at our August Stakeholder networks and providing a submission to Pianika Cowlin, Project Manager, Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata Programme, Ministry of Justice.  If you have any feedback please send it through directly to Pianika or to us.

Thank you to all the people who have contributed to the Winter Newsletter.  Please feel free to contact any of our contributors if you want more information on their article. 

Keep those articles coming.

Lastly, I wanted to touch base with everyone about He Ara Oranga.  The Ministry of Health has identified the priorities that they will be focusing on and is currently holding regional meetings across the country to progress and test their thinking.  As a region, we are in the process of developing the Midland Wellbeing Framework with Te Piko o te Māhuri: Youth Wānanga being the first cab of the rank.  We will be setting up Steering Groups to progress Maori, Whanau, Addiction and Adult wānanga in the near future.  If you are interested in participating in the development please contact Akatu Marsters akatu.marsters (at) healthshare.co.nz

Until we see you in the Spring Newsletter, stay warm and safe.

Malo le soifua


To read the articles featured in our Winter newsletter click the links below:


Autumn Issue 8 - April 2019

Kia ora, Kia orana, Talofa, As-salam Alaykom & Hello

Welcome to our Autumn Newsletter.  I hope that you had a wonderful summer now that the cooler weather is showing itself.  Stay warm and don’t forget to get your influenza vaccine.

HealthShare, the Midland Shared Service Agency has launched its new website.  The website describes all the services that are provided in the regional space.  Click here to visit the website.  As the regional Mental Health & Addiction Network it is fantastic to be part of such a diverse work space.

This newsletter features Grant Goodman, eSPACE Project Manager and Esthe Davis, Regional Clinical Expert who are providing leadership for the Mental Health & Addiction component of the Midland Clinical Portal.  It is exciting to see all the works that we as a sector have produced over the years come to fruition. 

Thank you to all the people who have contributed to the Autumn Newsletter.  It is great to be able to highlight the amazing work that people are doing across Midland.  Please feel free to contact any of our contributors if you want more information on their article.  Keep those articles coming.

Lastly, I wanted to touch base with everyone about the Christchurch mosque attacks on the 15th March 2019.  It was a horrific act of violence against us as a nation and many people are still struggling to deal with and understand it.  For people needing support please call the Mental Health Help Line 1737 or MHResponse@health.govt.nz .

The Ministry of Health is committed to supporting those affected both in Christchurch and across New Zealand. Canterbury DHB has done an amazing job to respond to this unprecedented event and we will continue to support them through the coming months and years. https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/mental-health-and-addictions/mental-health/supporting-people-affected-christchurch-mosque-attacks

Fi Aman Illah

To read the articles featured in our Autumn newsletter click the links below:


Summer Issue 7 - January 2019

Kia ora, Kia orana, Talofa & Hello

Welcome to our Summer Newsletter.  I hope that you had a wonderful festive season with you family and friends.  Beach trips and BBQ’s has been the order of our summer so far.  For those of you who have taken some time off I hope you are feeling rested and are ready for another busy year.  For those of you who have yet to take some time off I hope the weather remains fine with cool periods.

This newsletter features a few profiles of people who have contributed significantly to the journey that Midland has taken over the last 10 years.  Roz Sorensen, Klare Bray, Sally Whitelaw and Karen Cheer have influenced the way Midland has developed its thinking, providing subject matter advice or strategic thought leadership.  We thank them for their contribution and look forward to continuing the relationship over the coming years.

The Mental Health Inquiry report: He Ara Oranga was released in December 2018.  It calls for change in the current way services are configured with services being closer to the community.  This report will bring many challenges as the sector moves forward on the recommendations.  We look forward to working together as a region to progress the recommendations.  Click here to access a copy of the document.

There are several feature articles on pockets of innovation across the region.  Please do not hesitate to contact any of the providers if you require additional information.

Robyn ShearerFinally, I would like to congratulate Robyn Shearer on her appointment to the Ministry of Health, Deputy Director-General, Mental Health &  Addiction.

Robyn has a vast range of sector experience having been the CEO for Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui for the last ten years. During her time Robyn has grown Te Pou to be internationally recognised for evidence based workforce programmes in mental health, addiction and disability and has created strong sector partnerships to enhance people’s lives through service improvement.  Robyn comes from a clinical background, beginning her experience with nursing and has worked in front line mental health services and leadership roles in district health boards.  She has also worked in the Health Research Council and Ministry of Health in workforce development, policy and leading the Mental Health Group.

The Midland region wishes you well as you embark on the next phase of your journey.

To read on the articles featured in our Summer newsletter click the links below:


Spring Issue 6 - October 2018

Kia ora, Kia orana, Talofa & Hello

Spring is here ….daylight saving, spring flowers and spring lambs J   we have some innovative articles from across the region showcasing  pockets of work that is happening.

The Midland Regional Leadership Networks all met in August.  The agenda’s and minutes can be found on our website.  All of our Leadership Networks are dynamic with enthusiastic members who are subject experts in their field.  We are currently seeking Expression of Interest for the following Networks:

  • Te Huinga o Nga Pou Hauora – Maori Leaderships particularly Taranaki
  • Addiction Leadership – particularly Taranaki and Lakes
  • Workforce Leadership – particularly Bay of Plenty
  • Contact Akatu Marsters for a copy of the Expression of Interest and Terms of Reference.

Cutting Edge1RCutting Edge2RCutting Edge was held in Rotorua on the 12th to 15th September at the Events Centre.  What a fantastic venue.  The theme was "Connecting Communities".  This was the first conference that I have attended in some time, and I must say that it was one of the best I have attended.  It was well organised, with a good blend of key note speakers and sessions on a variety of subjects.  The Midland Regional Network Team provided a Poster display and presented on our Regional Leadership Networks.  It was great to catch up with people who I have not seen in a long time and to make new connections.

Donna BlairOn the 21st September the Midland region farewelled Donna Blair, General Manager, Te Utuhina Manaakitanga Trust.  Donna has provided strong Addiction and Other Drugs leadership and advocacy at a local, regional and national level for the last 13 years.  Her energy and passion will be missed in the Midland region.  We wish you all the best in your journey Donna.

rachel-poaneki.jpgCongratulations Rachel on your appointment to the Director, Maori Health & Equity.  Rachel Poaneki has been a Portfolio Manager for Mental Health and over the last 8 years for Addiction in the Waikato.  Rachel has been a significant influence in the regional leadership networks and in the mental health and addiction sector locally, regionally and nationally.  We wish her well in her new career journey and look forward to working with her in a different capacity.

A project that we have just started, focuses on the evaluating how successfully Midland has implemented reducing the use of Section 29.  The focus of the project is to identify what has worked well and how we transfer those lessons learned across the five Midland District Health Boards.  Kay Montgomery is project leading this on behalf of the Midland Regional Network Team.

KayKay’s  career spans over 30 years working in the Health and Social sector with a variety of roles from; clinician, manager, programme and project manager with a passion for innovation and quality.  For the past seven years she has been providing consultancy services concentrating on Business Development and Service Improvement across the public and private sector at a regional and national level. Kay’s website can provide you with more details (www.montgomery.co.nz).

Kay will be working closely with Nga Kopara o te Rito - Midland Consumer and Family Leadership Network.

Enjoy the warmer weather everyone!

To read on the articles featured in our Spring newsletter click the links below:


WinterWinter Issue 5 - July 2018

Kia ora, Kia orana, Talofa & Hello

I hope everyone is keeping warm as the winter months have descended on us with the vengeance.  I know you will be enjoying the sunny days when we get them and like me counting down the days until Spring comes.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Belinda Walker back to our team.  Some of you will remember that Belinda was instrumental in rolling out PRIMHD across the Midland NGO sector.  Belinda joins us as our Information Coordinator and will be working on making sense of the mental health and addiction data that we have available to us.

The Mental Health Inquiry has completed the Midland DHB site visits and I hope that you had the opportunity to either talk with the panel or write in a submission on behalf of your service.  Our regional Leadership Networks were consulted and we provided a submission reflecting the individual networks area of expertise.  Click here to see the submission we provided on behalf of our sector.

In the Summer Newsletter I featured the Midland DHB values, which caused me to reflect on whether our Regional Network vision, mission and values aligned to the aspirations of the Midland DHBs and HealthShare Limited (Midland Shared Service Agency).  To that end, over the last six months the regional networks have spent time re-working our logo, vision, mission and values.

“Improving Mental Health and Addiction”

MHA Vision Logo

Whakatōngia te aroha hai oranga mo te whānau,

Whakatōngia te kohara kia awe ai te Iwi

Plant the seed of love so that the whānau will survive,

plant the seed of passion to give strength to Iwi

To read more on its development and meaning click here...

We have a number of regional projects occurring across the sector and Akatu, Belinda and Steve have highlighted some of the work they are doing in the newsletter.  Our Midland Mental Health & Addiction website has a wealth of information and I would recommend you checking it out www.midlandmentalhealthnetwork.co.nz as it is updated regularly.

Until the Spring newsletter, stay warm.


To read on the articles featured in our Winter newsletter click the links below:


WinterEnd of Summer Issue 4 - March 2018

Kia ora, Kia orana, Talofa & Hello

Welcome to our winter Midland Mental Health & Addictions e-Newsletter.

It has been a busy beginning of 2018 with hot, humid and stormy weather.  We celebrate all the success that we have achieved across the region so far.

Values are a large part of what drives an organisation and the values are reflected by us, the staff.  As a region, each of our DHBs have developed values that reflect the communities that they serve, check out their websites for more information.

Bay of Plenty DHBBOP ValueHauora Tairawhiti

Hauora Tairawhiti

  • Whakarangatira/enrich - Enriching the health of our community by doing our very best
  • Awhi/support - Supporting our turoro/patients their whanau/families, our community partners and each other
  • Kotahitanga/togetherness - Together we can achieve more
  • Aroha/compassion - Empathy, we care for people and people want to be cared for by us

Our values form the acronym WAKA. They reflect our past while guiding us on our journey to create a healthier Tairāwhiti by working together.

Lakes DHBLakes DHB

Lakes DHB has three organisational values.  They are:

  • Manaakitanga - Respect and acknowledgement of each other's intrinsic value and contribution
  • Integrity - Truthfully and consistently acting collectively for the common good
  • Accountability - Collective and individual ownership for clinical and financial outcomes and sustainability

Taranaki DHBTaranaki DHB

We will work together by:

  • Treating people with trust, respect and compassion
  • Communicating openly, honestly and acting with integrity
  • Enabling professional and organisational standards to be met
  • Supporting achievement and acknowledging successes
  • Creating healthy and safe environments
  • Welcoming new ideas

Waikato DHBWaikato Values

  • Give and earn respect / Whakamana
  • Listen to me talk to me / Whakarongo
  • Fair play / Mauri Pai
  • Growing the good / Whakapakari
  • Stronger together / Kotahitanga

To read on the articles featured in our End of Summer newsletter click the links below: