Our objective is to enhance the capability (skills and knowledge) and capacity (the responsiveness) of the workforce to respond to the needs of whānau who have addiction-related issues. The key drivers for the addiction programmes are to increase, build and support a capable workforce that integrates mātauranga Māori as part of best practice when working with whānau.

Wellbeing from addiction for Māori is entrenched in cultural interventions which address wellbeing as a whole in a holistic way. The key to understanding the benefit of culturally focused addiction treatment is recognizing what gives purpose and value to the relationship and the ability of helpers to engage with a person and their whānau in a meaningful culturally safe way.

Te Rau Ora delivers activities that connect and reconnect people through leadership, learning, community enhancement, addiction workforce scholarships and work-based placements, always putting people at the heart of what we do.

Te Hau Mārire

Te Hau Mārire: Addiction Workforce Strategic Framework (2015-2025) brought together the knowledge and experiences of Māori in the addiction treatment sector to create a strategic framework to guide the development of an effective workforce that will contribute to the minimisation of addiction-related harm and achievement of whānau ora.

Te Hau Mārire recognises that the addiction workforce potentially includes everyone who works with people experiencing addiction-related harm. This includes those who specialise in the assessment and management of addiction-related harm as well as people who encounter addiction-related harm in more generalist settings, such as primary care, Whānau Ora services, social services, justice services, or education.

National Transformation:  Māori Addiction Leadership Group

The formation of a National Māori addiction leadership group came out of the Māori Pre-Cutting Edge Hui held at Owhata Marae, Hinemoa Point (Rotorua)  12th September 2018.  The hui was a day of collaboration, celebration and whakawhanaungatanga for Māori working in the addiction treatment sector nationally.   The hui was hosted  by Matua Raki and Te Utuhina Manaakitanga Trust in collaboration with the NZ Drug Foundation, DAPAANZ and Te Rau Ora.  

A motion from the floor in the afternoon session called for the establishment of a national Māori addiction treatment leadership group. 
For more information contact  

Manaaki: Mana enhancing and Mana protecting practice

The Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Bill (SACAT) replaced the Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Act (1966).
One of the key expectations of the proposed new legislation is that services involved in the compulsory assessment and treatment of substance-related harm will demonstrate manaaki through mana enhancing and protecting practice.

To download Manaaki: Mana enhancing and Mana protecting practice – Practitioner Resources click here.
For further information contact: or

He Puna Whakaata

He Puna Whakaata is a resource and training program integrating Māori concepts with the principles of motivational interviewing. It utilises a Te Whare Tapa Whā framework to make some aspects of mātauranga Māori more accessible to whānau engaged in change. The therapeutic activities described in He Puna Whakaata are discrete activities, each with its own focus.  
For further information about this training contact:

Topatopahia Te Rere o Te Waka Scholarships

Te Rau Ora want to grow the addiction workforce with the provision of scholarships and work-based placements for people enrolled to study and work in the addiction system. The Topatopahia te rere o te waka describes the accelerated movement of a waka, it is a metaphor of urgency in building the capacity and capability of communities to better respond to addiction related harms. The programme has two components, Hoe Tahi – workforce scholarships and Hoe Rua – work-based placements for new recruits seeking entry into the workforce.

Te Rau Ora provide scholarships and work-based placements for those working in the addiction treatment sector.  This programme known as Topatopahia Te Rere o Te Waka seeks to enhance the capacity and capability of the sector to minimise addiction-related harm.
For further information contact:

Health Not Handcuffs

Te Rau Ora have joined the New Zealand Drug Foundation and four other public health and social justice organisations to set up the Health not Handcuffs coalition, a vehicle for people who want to overhaul our outdated drug law. We believe an urgent CHANGE is required as it’s clear that Māori are unfairly carrying the burden.

Māori are more likely to suffer harm from drug use, less likely to be able to access health treatment, and more likely to be convicted than other groups:

  • 41% of those charged for minor drug offences are Māori.
  • More than 50 percent of people imprisoned for those same offences are Māori.

In 2017, 1577 Māori were convicted for low level drug use. The coalition is calling on the Government to: remove criminal penalties for drug use and possession and move instead to a better health – helper model; double New Zealand’s yearly budget for drug-related prevention, education, harm reduction and treatment; and regulate the legal supply of cannabis, to improve public health.

Health not Handcuffs is a new movement – if you want to express support for a fresh approach to drug use. Sign up today to help us………

If you feel like you need more immediate help contact: 

Other Sites in Our Network