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New community-based drug and alcohol service launching in Southland – Hiwa-i-te-rangi

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More community-based drug and alcohol services will soon be available in Southland, with Te Whatu Ora Southern announcing an expansion of their contract with Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust (NKMP).

NKMP is a mana whenua mandated kaupapa Māori provider and has been offering addiction services in the south for more than 20 years, including Mahana Southern Māori Mental Health and Addiction Service and the Manawa Ora - Community Withdrawal Service. It is also home to the Low-Cost Access GP Service He Puna Waiora Wellness Centre, the He Puna Waiora Wellness Pharmacy, as well as a range of social services.

The increased resources will enable more services to be provided from within a Te Ao Māori framework for people with moderate to severe and/or complex addiction issues, with methamphetamine being a significant issue. Services will be available for those aged 15 years and over, with a focus on 15-36-year-olds.

Toni Gutschlag, Executive Director of Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability for Te Whatu Ora Southern, says the need need for expansion of community-based alcohol and drug services was identified through the 2021 Time for Change - Te Hurihanga review.*

“The new service will provide culturally appropriate services closer to home, and will help address the significant inequities where there is a higher rate of methamphetamine addiction identified that are negatively affecting the Māori community in the Southland region.”

The service, called Hiwa-i-te-rangi,  will be launched on 29 May 2023 and will offer a hub of services that whānau can transition into, including:

  1. Counselling Interventions – One on one
  2. Group sessions
  3. Advocacy
  4. ELA – Experiential Learning Activities – education and connection
  5. Aronui – Art therapy programme
  6. Te Kore – a  psychotherapy closed programme
  7. Te Rongopai – a peer group meeting weekly
  8. Manawa Ora – community withdrawal programme

The model of care for the new service has been developed in collaboration with Te Aka Whai Ora and the police. NKMP will work with the police and will provide a clear, simple practice – single point of entry into the service ensuring police are notified of acceptance of clients referred into the service.

NKMP Chief Executive Tracey Wright-Tawha says Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu offers a wide hub of connected services from which clients can benefit. “Hiwa-i-te-rangi is an expansion of our mental health and addiction services, focusing on 15-36-year-olds experiencing harm from methamphetamine use.  We are looking forward to extending our collaborative working relationship with the police in returning people back to wellness and independence.”

Ms Gutschlag says Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu is a local provider with a proven ability to provide specialist, clinically effective, innovative, culturally appropriate methamphetamine services in the Southland area and it’s great that it will be providing this new service.

*Time for Change – Te Hurihanga is a focused project led by the Te Whatu Ora Southern to address health, equity, location, social and systemic issues and put people at the centre of care. It’s part of the direction to transform Aotearoa’s mental health and addiction system over the next 10 years outlined in Kia Manawanui Aotearoa

More information about the Time for Change – Te Hurihanga programme and review is available at