News and Events

This section is dedicated to providing news items within the Midland region, celebrate events that have occurred  and provide updates on the various regional projects that we are working on.  This page is interactive and is updated as events happen.  It will replace the Midland Matters Newsletter.

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


 Health & Wellbeing Budget 2019

The Ministry of Health has a stewardship role to transform New Zealand’s mental health and addiction system.  They are leading the work on many of the 13 new Budget 2019 mental health, wellbeing and addiction initiatives.

Detailed information on the funding provided in Budget 2019 can be found on the Government’s Budget website, including other wellbeing initiatives led by other government agencies.

Many of the Budget 2019 initiatives strongly align with the Government’s response to He Ara Oranga, the report of the independent inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction.


Lifting Māori and Pacific peoples’ health outcomes is another important focus of Budget 2019. Funding for this purpose is included in most health initiatives, as well as being a specific focus of others such as the Māori and Pacific workforce development initiatives and culturally-relevant mental health, wellbeing and addiction initiatives.

Infrastructure and workforce

Strengthening the foundations of the health system – both in terms of investing in health infrastructure and the health workforce – is a strong theme of Budget 2019. Over the next two years an additional $1.7 billion will be invested in health sector capital projects.

Boosting the health and disability workforce is also a focus of Budget 2019, including $24.5 million over four years to fund more graduate registered nurses and graduate enrolled nurses to complete nurse entry to practice programmes. It will also fund more nurse coaches, mentors, supervision and better support for new graduates.

Rural health is getting an additional $18 million over four years to provide more GP training placements in rural and regional areas, and rural locum relief for midwives working in rural settings.

Click here to read more of the initiatives from the Ministry of Health website.


Inquiry ReportHe Ara Oranga - Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health & Addiction

The 200-page report was handed over by the Inquiry panel chair Ron Paterson last week to the Minister of Health Dr David Clark, who has said the Government will not formally respond until March and that it will take more than one Budget to address all the “strong and coherent recommendations” raised in the “once-in-a-generation” report.

The report is titled ‘He Ara Oranga – Pathways to Wellness’ and the inquiry panel recommends major reform saying the mental health and addictions system is under pressure and unsustainable in its current form.

“This is not simply a report calling for more money for mental health and addiction services – though it is clear further investment is needed in Budget 2019 and in the future,” says the report. “It is a whole new approach to mental health and addiction in New Zealand. It sets out He Ara Oranga – pathways to wellness.”

The report says that currently key components of the system are missing – in particular it doesn’t respond adequately to people in serious distress to prevent them from ‘tipping over’ into crisis situations.

“It’s time to build a new mental health and addiction system on the existing foundations to provide a continuum of care and support. We will always have a special responsibility to those most in need. They must remain the priority. But we need to expand access so that people in serious distress – the ‘missing middle’ who currently miss out – can get the care and support they need to manage and recover.”

It is the first major report into mental health services since the Mason Inquiry of 1996 which lead to the formation of the Mental Health Commission (disestablished in 2012) and the 1998 Blueprint for Mental Health Services in New Zealand.

This latest inquiry was given much broader terms of reference to look at the full spectrum, from mental distress to enduring psychiatric illness, and a mandate to look beyond the health sector to other sectors and social determinants that influence mental health outcomes, as well as addiction.

The resulting report proposes major changes in current policies and laws, supported by significant increases in funding. The 40 recommendations are grouped into 12 broad areas.

Summary of Main Recommendations & Rationale

Expand access and choice to mental health services

  • Expand services from current target of 3% of population being able to access specialist mental health to ensure access to the ‘missing middle’.
  • An indicative access target may be 20% within the next five years.
  • A new explicit target must be supported by funding for a wider range of therapies, especially talk therapies, alcohol and other drug services and culturally aligned services.
  • Direct the Ministry of Health, in partnership with the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, to facilitate and commit to funding a national co-designed service transformation process for mental health and addiction services.

Transform primary health care

  • Enhance the capability of the primary care workforce, with additional mental health and addiction training for general practitioners, practice nurses and community health workers.

Strengthen the NGO sector

  • Factors such as short-term contracts, high compliance costs and reporting requirements, multiple funders and contracts and a power imbalance are impacting on the sustainability of NGO providers in the community.
  • Recommends a clear stewardship role within central government to support NGO development and sustainability and improve commissioning of health and social services with NGOs.

Enhance wellbeing, promotion and prevention

  • Take a whole-of-government approach to wellbeing to tackle social determinants and support prevention activities that impact on multiple outcomes, not only mental health and addiction.

Take strong action on alcohol and other drugs

  • Take a stricter regulatory approach to the sale and supply of alcohol, informed by the recommendations from the 2010 Law Commission review, the 2014 Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship and the 2014 Ministry of Justice report on alcohol pricing
  • Replace criminal sanctions for the possession for personal use of controlled drugs with civil responses (for example, a fine, a referral to a drug awareness session run by a public health body or a referral to a drug treatment programme).
  • Support the replacement of criminal sanctions for the possession for personal use of controlled drugs with a full range of treatment and detox services.

Prevent suicide

  • Urgently complete and implement a national suicide prevention strategy, with a target of a 20% reduction in suicide rates by 2030.
  • Establish a suicide prevention office to provide stronger and sustained leadership on action to prevent suicide.

Reform the Mental Health Act

  • Repeal and replace the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, to reflect a human rights approach, promote supported decision-making and align with a recovery and wellbeing model, and minimise compulsory or coercive treatment.

Establish a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission

  • There has been a general lack of confidence in leadership of the mental health and addiction sector over many years, since disestablishment of the original Mental Health Commission.
  • Establish a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission to act as a watchdog and provide leadership and oversight of mental health and wellbeing in New Zealand.
  • Direct the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission (or interim commission) to regularly report publicly on implementation of the Government’s response to the Inquiry’s recommendations, with the first report released one year after the Government’s response.

Establish a cross-party working group on mental health and wellbeing

  • Mental health is too important to be a political football.
  • A cross-party working group would provide an opportunity for members of the House of Representatives to collaborate and advocate for education, leadership and legislative progress on mental health and wellbeing.

Place people at the centre

  • Strengthen consumer voice and experience in mental health and addiction services.
  • Support families and whānau to be active participants in the care and treatment of their family members.


InquiryMidland MH&A Networks Feedback to Mental Health & Addiction Inquiry

The Midland Regional Networks met during the month of May in Rotorua for its regular quarterly meetings, during these meetings the Mental Health & Addiction Inquiry was an agenda item for discussion and to provide feedback to the inquiry.

Please click here to read feedback from our networks.


HSL Tairawhiti

 Hauora TairawhitiHauora 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.

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Te Kuwatawata

Gisborne health professionals have listened to a call for a more effective response to mental health and addiction distress that affects too many Tairāwhiti families.


Te Kuwatawata is a unique and groundbreaking response to that call. It is about applying indigenous matauranga (knowledge/understanding) to reframe the way we talk about a person’s experience and to find a pathway forward for people experiencing distress, says Mental Health Head of Department Dr Diana Kopua.

A groundswell of people – indigenous knowledge experts, local GPs, community groups and mental health professionals - have been learning about using stories to look at all the characteristics of Māori deities and how they interacted with each other. This helps us to understand our own interactions and behaviours.

“Matauranga enables us to move away from only using western ideology to categorise distress while staying critical in our thinking as health professionals.  We are not abandoning western psychiatric approaches; we are just putting other principles - such as relationships and community voice - forward as an immediate response. This helps us to respond quicker, closer to where people live and most importantly this makes people feel connected, rather than disempowered.”

Te Kuwatawata has been supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Health with their “Fit for Future” Innovation Funding pool.

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Te Hiringa Matua

Te Hiringa Matua is an intensive programme of support to pregnant women and families with children under three, who have serious addiction issues.  Its origins are a successful pilot programme run in Auckland.


However, in Tairāwhiti half the population are Māori. We have a high percentage of teenage mothers and generational addiction issues. Therefore a uniquely Tairāwhiti approach to providing support and connection is being used. Mahi a Atua (using indigenous knowledge of Māori deities to make sense of a situation), is a way of working that has been developed in Tairāwhiti led by Dr Diana and Mark Kopua. It is the foundation of the Te Hiringa Matua service.

The service sees three Māori health providers; Tūranga Health, Hauiti Hauora and lead provider Ngāti Porou Hauora working collaboratively with the District Health Board Hauora Tairāwhiti.

The name Te Hiringa Matua is taken from a Te Oriori (lullaby) for Tuuteremoana. It is an ancient birthing prayer that describes the phenomenon of human procreation and the instinct to care for children.


HSL Taranaki

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

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Pulse - Magazine of Taranaki DHB

The Pulse is the quarterly magazine of the Taranaki District Health Board.

Pulse 2018 03
March 2018

December 2017

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Te Taioho

It’s been a busy start to 2018 for the Taiohi Ora team

We kicked off our in-school programme working with four pilot schools across Taranaki at the start of the term. We are working hand-in-hand with schools: students, teachers, pastoral care teams and guidance counsellors to ensure we are delivering a service that really helps. In most cases this has meant tailoring the service for each school depending on the unique needs of their students.

At the same time we continue to roll-out our community work with taiohi across Taranaki. The service is receiving large numbers of referrals each week, and our clinicians are working hard to support the many young people in our community requiring help. We are only able to offer limited services in the community at the moment, while we are still in a pilot phase, but will review this as the service evolves.

To assist the referral process we have simplified our service criteria to make it easier for referrers to see if we can help:

 Te Taioho 1

Please click here to read more stories in the Te Taiohi Ora Newsletter. 

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Alcohol and Drug Service

TDHB AD BrochureThe Alcohol and Drug Service provides outpatient assessment and treatment services for client with alcohol and/or drug misuse, or people affected by another's alcohol and/or drug addiction.

The counsellors work closely with the Adult Mental Health teams regarding the assessment and treatment of clients with a co-existing psychiatric disorder.

The service offers early intervention/screening services, assessment and access to intensive residential programmes, (including clients under the Alcohol and Drug Act), and a regional opioid programme in collaboration with a network of General Practitioners and pharmacies. We have established a community based detoxification programme. 

Click here to view the Alcohol and Drug Service brochure.


HSL Waikato

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

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WDHB Lets TalkNew directions ahead for Mental Health & Addiction Services

Waikato DHB wants to improve mental health and addiction services in its district. We are heading out into the Waikato community to ask people to share experiences, views and ideas that will help guide the new direction of mental health and addiction services in the Waikato.

The first big public meeting was coordinated with Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust and held at the Taumarunui RSA in December where over 100 people attended. 

The aim was for anyone to have their say and the conversations included those experiencing mental health and/ or addiction issues, whānau/families and friends who wanted support to help their loved ones, and GPs talking about their experiences of trying to assist those who need extra help in a rural community.

We found the kōrero shared enlightening and at times very moving. We recognised that we could make improvements straight away on some of those issues shared. Others are longer term challenges that will need to involve the community, services users, their family/ whānau and providers to help find solutions.

Some of the longer-term challenges are already recognised in other communities throughout New Zealand and may need a more national approach.  We want the community to have  involvement in the whole process so we can get it right.

Engaging with Māori is also a priority and the DHB is working with local Māori service providers and their iwi to find the best way to reach them to hear their voice.  Over the coming months keep an eye out for other meetings planned throughout the Waikato DHB area.

Come along and have your say.  Hui dates are also on our website:

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Youth INtact Drug & Alcohol Service

Youth INtact

The service has delivered a new look and approach for how youth with alcohol and drug problems and their whanau/families receive the help they need.

Youth INtact services are available in the wider Waikato DHB catchment communities through three other providers:

  • CareNZ who provide Youth INtact in Tokoroa/Putaruru
  • Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust covering Te Kuiti, Otorohanga and Taumarunui
  • Te Korowai o Hauraki covering Hauraki, Thames/Coromandel.

Youth INtact has been developed with lots of feedback from clinicians, communities, rangatahi/young people and family/whanau.

For more information about Youth INtact and the services it provides visit

Youth INteract


HSL Bay of Plenty

BOP Value

Youth drugs service report no rise in methamphetamine use in the Bay of Plenty

The largest youth drugs service in the Bay of Plenty says it has seen no rise in referrals for methamphetamine use in recent months.

The Bay of Plenty District Health Board's (BOPDHB) Youth Alcohol and other Drugs (AOD) service, Sorted, says less than 10 of the 230-250 referrals it receives a year would have used methamphetamine.

"As part of our work in the Bay of Plenty we have observed little change in reasons for why young people are referred to our service, with this primarily being due to cannabis and/or alcohol use," said Sorted Registered Social Worker Caleb Putt, of the group which works primarily with young people under 18 years old.

"Anecdotally, there has been little evidence of any change to young people's patterns of use in the community as we interact with our key referring services, such as: Youth Justice, Police Youth Aid, hospital emergency departments, secondary schools and alternative education providers.

"Typically there would be less than 10 young people a year referred to Sorted who have ever tried methamphetamine, and only two or three a year for whom methamphetamine is their substance of choice - or at least are meeting criteria for problematic use of this substance."

Sorted emphasises youth friendliness, accessibility and maintaining a focus on engagement in delivering its service said Caleb.

"This is regardless of what substance a young person is using as for most young people they are sceptical and often reluctant about wanting to engage with an AOD service.

"Confidentiality, flexibility (in terms of where young people are seen) and emphasising harm reduction and safety messages are all important aspects of service delivery, with any hint of judgement or talk of abstinence likely to disengage most young people.

"Young people who are thinking about using or who are using methamphetamine will get this same quality of service as any other young person," he added.

Sorted not only works with young people referred due to AOD use but also with young people experiencing mental health difficulties as well as AOD problems, and are based within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

Other Youth AOD services that are available to young people include Get Smart, Te Manu Toroa, Nga Kakano Foundation, Ngaiterangi Iwi Trust and Maketu Hauora, Tuhoe Hauora, Tuwharetoa Ki Kawerau, Te Whanau Apanui and Emerge Aotearoa.

James Full - Communications, BOP DHB


HSL Lakes

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

Logo LineeMental HealthAn eMental Health & Addiction Framework to Support Te Ara Tauwhirotanga

The nature and volume of demand for mental health and addiction services has moved well beyond any argument that face-to-face clinical systems alone are the answer. Increasingly, remote, rural and high-deprivation communities are unable to access resources and care when and where they need them.

eMental Health is oriented around the individual and their social supports. It enshrines self-managed care and customisation to deliver a seamless pathway to the appropriate care for each individual.

The Te Ara Tauwhirotanga project has demonstrated commendable foresight in considering the application of digital solutions as part of developing a new model of care for existing Lakes DHB services. Understanding and embracing the opportunities offered by eMental Health and Addiction solutions to enhance existing approaches puts Lakes DHB in a strong position to meet the increasing demand for services, at a time when traditional methods are being stretched to their limits. Click here to read the Framework Document.

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Mental Health Service Vision

To provide a responsive, accessible Mental Health Service to those adversely affected by mental illness with the Lakes District Health Board region.


Manaakitanga - Respect
Integrity - Truth
Accountability - Collective Sustainability 


The principles inherent in the Lakes Mental Health Service, in order to achieve the “Statement of Purpose” and “Values” are: 

  • Work in partnership with service users and their family, whanau to maintain/achieve good mental health and wellbeing
  • Provide holistic care based on individual service user need and best clinical practice
  • Foster a culture of hope and personal aspiration that support service users to work towards their own recovery
  • Establish a collaborative service user pathway across the whole of the Mental Health continuum (secondary/primary/NGO/Inter-sectorally or Inter-agency) to ensure seamless service delivery
  • Develop and retain a highly skilled workforce through staff development
  • Promote/increase cultural responsiveness
  • Provide a cost effective/efficient range of accessible secondary Mental Health service

Click below to read the Lakes Mental Health & Addiction newsletter

     Newsletter 3      Newsletter 2      Newsletter 1
Lakes MHA Issue 3  Lakes MHA Issue 1 Lakes MHA Issue 2

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M OraMauri Ora - Redevelopment of MH&A Services in Lakes District

Mauri Ora is the name of the project which will look at how mental health and addiction services are delivered for tangata whaiora (service users) and their whanau across the Lakes district including Rotorua, Taupo and Turangi.

Early conversations with tangata whaiora and whanau talked about their aspirations - that the service had to look at more than mental illness, and focus on all aspects of a person which contribute to their wellbeing. The name Mauri Ora was born, that is, focusing on the journey-from mauri noho (languishing) to mauri ora (flourishing).

Redeveloping mental health and addiction services in the Lakes district is driven by the need to look at new ways of addressing the community’s needs.  Click below to read Mauri Ora newsletters.

     March 2019     October 2018      July 2018
Mauri Ora March Issue  Mauri Ora Oct 2018 M Ora July
      June 2018        May 2018         April 2018
MOra May Mauri Ora April Mauri Ora


HWalkHopeWalk Picnic Brings Suicide Awareness to the Table

Friends and families came together on the 8 December to spread the message there is always hope.  HopeWalk Rotorua held a picnic in Kuirau Park today to raise awareness of suicide prevention.

The MC for the day Isaac Phillips, who works with drug and alcohol counselling organisation Te Utuhina Manaakitanga Trust, said the day was all about bring the community together.

"It's all about raising awareness of suicide, getting the conversation ignited and bringing the community together. It's about connection.

"We've got some key people here for if people need to touch base with someone today."

The day was put together by volunteers and featured kids games, a bouncy castle and rock painting as well as a memorial table where people could acknowledge loved ones.

Phillips said suicide awareness was a big issue.

"If people don't know already, New Zealand has one of the highest rates in the world for people who struggle with these things.

"It's not something that is always talked about, we want people to know they are not alone. People are open and willing to listen.

"The message is there's always hope."

Click here for the review from the Daily Post.