The “granddaddy” of addiction practice Doug Sellman and a collaborative Northland project to reduce meth harm were major winners at the recent addiction practice awards.

The annual awards were presented at the Cutting Edge addictions conference in Rotorua last week by Dapaanz (the professional association for people working in addiction treatment) and Matua Raki (the addiction workforce development arm of Te Pou).

Dapaanz executive director Sue Paton said it presented the Excellent Contribution to Addiction Practice award to Professor Doug Sellman of the University of Otago’s National Addiction sector as it wanted to honour the “granddaddy” of the sector.

“He’s been an incredible advocate for the addiction sector over the years in many different roles – and particularly an advocate for alcohol law reform.”

The top Matua Raki Supreme Workforce Innovation award went to Northland DHB Mental Health and Addiction Services for its Te Ara Oranga Methamphetamine Demand Reduction strategy pilot. The strategy is a collaborative project between the DHB, police, NGO group and the community that was funded for a one-year pilot by the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act and recently received a six-month extension.

Matua Raki said key to the innovation’s success has been the establishment of referral pathways from Police into treatment, offering earlier and more timely treatment and assertive outreach, providing employment support embedded in addiction services, developing community networks, and carrying out community consultation to provide people with the resources they feel they will benefit from the most.

Paton said the presentation of the Dapaanz Excellence in Peer Support award to Bessina Pehi Tamatea was an outstanding moment of the night with the Auckland-based peer recovery group she works with marking her award with a spontaneous haka.

She said Pehi Tamatea was an amazing woman who as a counselling degree student requested a student placement with Te Ha Oranga, which runs the kapa haka-based He Waka Eke Noa Aftercare support group that two years earlier had helped her with her own addiction recovery.

The Ngāti Whatua group were so impressed with her work ethic and natural rapport with clients that they have employed her into a part-time peer support role.


Dapaanz Newcomer Award

Turaukawa Bartlett of Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki/Turaukawa Bartlett Consultancy Ltd

Matua Raki award

Odyssey (Auckland) and Odyssey House (Christchurch) for their Quality Wheel drug treatment programme

Best poster Award winner

Bo Roe, an addiction (AOD) practitioner and supervisor currently employed at Te Utuhina Manaakitanga Rotorua for the healing energy field: Micro Input + Macro Output=Connection 

Best abstract winner

Rolf Remin, a wellness recovery coach and AoD Practitioner for LINC (Living Independent Navigating Communities) for E-M-B-R-A-C-E


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