Manaaki Mana Enhancing and Mana Protecting Practice

by Terri Huriwai & Maria Baker


The Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Bill will replace the Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Act (1966). Its purpose is to provide for the compulsory assessment and treatment of individuals who experience severe substance addiction, are impaired and who do not have the capacity to make decisions about their treatment. Among a number of expectations expressed in the Bill that is most relevant to the practice of manaaki, it states the new Act will facilitate;

  • limited duration for compulsory treatment, with a focus on enabling the individual to gain the capacity to consent to and participate in ongoing treatment,
  • provisions to protect the rights of individuals’ subject to the legislation and to investigate alleged breaches of those rights, Compulsory assessment and treatment is for those with severe substance addiction (and thus likely to be experiencing a range of physical, social, mental and ‘spiritual’ impairment), who lack capacity to make decisions about treatment.

SACAT reinforces the expectation that compulsory treatment for those who meet the necessary criteria will:

  1. (a) protect them from harm; and
  2. (b) facilitate a comprehensive assessment of their addiction; and
  3. (c) stabilise their health through the application of medical treatment (including medically managed withdrawal); and
  4. (d) protect and enhance their mana and dignity and restores their capacity to make informed decisions about further treatment and substance use; and
  5. (e) facilitate planning for their treatment and care to be continued on a voluntary basis; and
  6. (f)  give them an opportunity to engage in voluntary treatment.

It is clear from these expectations that compulsory assessment and treatment is to provide a safe space to stabilise a debilitating chronic condition to begin a process of recovery and healing. While not stated in these expectations, from a Māori perspective there is also an assumption that the process of healing will be inclusive of whānau. 

Publishing Information

CITATIONHuriwai, T & Baker, M (2016). Manaaki: Mana enhancing and Mana protecting practice. Wellington: Te Rau Matatini.