Mental Health, Addiction and Intellectual Disability 
17 November, 2022

An update from the Executive Director

Kia ora e te whānau,

It was great to have made another announcement last week about the new drug and alcohol service for Otago to be run by Te Kāika in Dunedin. This is another new service to meet areas of need identified through the 2021 Time for Change – Te Hurihanga review.  Read more about this below.
Read about:

New Drug and Alcohol Service for Otago

Community based alcohol and drugs services in Otago will soon be expanding with an innovative new service to be run by Te Kāika.
Te Kāika will provide an integrated wraparound service for tangata whaiora and whānau and help them access the health and social services they need, as well as high quality specialist alcohol and other drug services.
The service will be stood up over the coming weeks and is expected to be fully operational by February 2023. It will include wānanga, whānau ora approaches, therapeutic interventions and peer support all delivered within a Māori framework. It will be available to all adults with moderate to severe and/or complex addiction issues, with a specific focus on connecting with Māori.
Read more here
Photo above: Kylie McKay, Relationship Manager Southern District, Te Whatu Ora and Matt Matahaere, Te Kāika Chief Executive Officer

Mental Health and Addictions regional update

A Te Waipounamu mental health and addictions (MHA) network has been established, its purpose is to strengthen the regional operating system across MHA. 
We have twelve representatives from across the South Island including myself as the Chair and we are working on four priority areas:
  1. Strengthening the AOD operating system across the region
The AOD working group is looking at simplifying access into and exiting from regional residential services and streamlining communication associated with this, as well as focusing on withdrawal management.
  1. Strengthening the CAF operating system across the region
Our plan is to ensure the regional/district interface is robust and explore how to develop a ‘hub and spoke’ model for CAF as exists for Maternal MH and Eating Disorders.  We believe this would greatly assist with workforce development challenges across the island.
  1. Reducing wait times for under 25’s
A working group is looking at the feasibility of extra whānau support through online interventions; a quality improvement initiative across CAMHS to improve efficiency and a service stocktake and analysis of regional capacity and demand to recommend solutions to protect/improve access to services.
  1. Exploring options for a collaborative leadership model across regional forensic services
This is a new workstream that has started following feedback from the Te Waipounamu Regional and District Directors.

The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry - share their message to help  shape the recommendations for change

Please can you share the information below through your networks and contacts to help the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry get as much feedback as possible to help shape the recommendations for change.

Message from the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry

Kia ora,
Through your networks and contacts, please help us connect with people who are disabled, Deaf, neurodiverse, whānau hauā, tāngata Turi, tāngata whaiora, or experience mental distress so that they can take part in shaping the recommendations for change.
 We’ve created an online space at, and from now until 8 December we’re asking people to tell us how care and support can be improved so that:
  • culture and identity are respected
  • there is fair treatment for all
  • family and whānau are involved
  • Mana and dignity are upheld
  • accessing services and support is easier
  • a quality education is available for all.
We know that engaging with us online won't suit everyone, but we also understand that some survivors, whānau and other community members face barriers to engaging with us in person. Comments will be anonymous - it is a safe space for people to share their thoughts and ideas on how care can be improved so that everyone can thrive.
The online platform we are using also has the highest accessibility accreditation of all the available digital tools, with their accreditation meeting WCAG 2.1 Level AA. If people experience accessibility issues they can also send a comment to us by text on 8185 or by email:
If you are in a support or carer role, you may need to help people such as those with an intellectual disability and others living in care to use this site – we strongly encourage you to do this. Everyone has the right to contribute to this important mahi and their views are valuable and relevant.
The focus of this engagement is to learn from different communities about solutions for the future. We encourage survivors and their whānau who want to talk about their own experiences of abuse or neglect to contact us by phone or email, so we can arrange to do this in a way that works best for them. Our Contact Centre can be reached on 0800 222 727 weekdays 8:30am to 4:30pm (NZT) excluding public holidays or by email:
You can now also reach us by text on 8185.
Thank you for your help.
Ngā mihi,
The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry

Ngā mihi nui,


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