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Invitation to Māori community hui – Southern Mental Health Review

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Southern residents, whānau, providers and community representatives are invited to a series of Māori focused hui across the region as part of the Southern Mental Health Review, which is currently underway.

The purpose of these hui is to work alongside Māori to understand the issues, challenges and opportunities for change across the mental health and addiction system.  Through these hui, we will look to identify ideas and opportunities for change that we will take forward as design solutions for part of this review.   

Southern DHB’s Chief Health Māori Strategy and Improvement Officer for Southern DHB, Gilbert Taurua said “the hui are intended to be a safe and supportive place to raise, explore and discuss issues related to the present Mental Health & Addiction Service system review for Māori, but more importantly to identify Māori solutions.  The hui will be Māori focussed although open to all interested individuals, whānau and the community and will be facilitated by local Māori leaders.”

The hui will be held in three locations:

  • Dunedin on Monday 12 April, Caversham Church, 61 Thorn Street, 1pm-4pm
  • Invercargill on Tuesday 13 April, Ascot Park Hotel, 9am to 12pm
  • Queenstown on Tuesday 13 April, Mercure Resort, 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

To register attendance please go to the link

NOTE: Media are welcome to interview Gilbert Taurua about the workshop, however the event is not open to the media in the interests of the privacy of participants.


Southern DHB announced the Mental Health and Addictions Continuum of Care Review in August 2020.

The review, which is currently underway, is examining our current services against contemporary best practice, and will identify opportunities for improving patient and staff experience. This includes better access to services at all points across the continuum of care and better integration between primary, community and acute services.

Delivering an equitable service across a widespread geographic area is challenging. The increasing demand for crisis mental health services in each locality (including emergency out-of-hours crisis services) is creating a variance in service delivery levels.

Similarly, the model of care, particularly for specialist services, varies across the district, particularly in our two main centres of Dunedin and Invercargill. Although this is a feature that has largely come about through history, it means that tangata whaiora are not always receiving the level of access and range of services between and across sites that is consistent.  Likewise recruiting and retaining workforce, particularly in rural areas or in towns that have high living costs, is challenging.

Facilities, particularly the inpatient units on the Wakari site, have been identified as needing urgent attention to support contemporary care given their age and condition.

The review is taking a whole-of-district, whole-of-system view to consider:

1. The conditions that support current pockets of innovative and/or excellent practice.

2. The pressure points in the mental health and addiction system and their underlying root causes, identifying barriers, connectivity, gaps and opportunities for service development, and configuration which is equitable across the Southern area.

3. The changes and/or improvements that need to be made to the model of care in order to better meet the needs of the population in each locality.

4. The best structure and mix/configuration of resources and services and the preferred model of service delivery in each locality.

5. What governance and leadership should look like in order to ensure that modern, contemporary clinical practice can be delivered effectively.

Synergia are undertaking this review on our behalf and have already spoken with many people across the Southern District in the first stage of this process.  We expect this review will be completed mid-year.