#Methfree Taitokerau


The path to wellbeing

The Te Ara Oranga team supports people and whānau who are impacted by methamphetamine and want to make change, reduce harm for themselves and their whānau and move toward recovery and healing.

0800 643 647


021 834 075


Express Referral


Te Ara Oranga is about working in a tangible and engaging style with the community and agencies, focusing on delivering a holistic approach to health and policing to produce better outcomes for all. The initiative links evidence-based health services with police prevention and enforcement activity.

Established in 2017

Te Whatu Ora (formally Northland DHB), NZ Police together with community agencies lead Te Ara Oranga, the Methamphetamine Harm Reduction initiative in Northland that was launched in October 2017.

In Loving Memory of Whaea Pam Armstrong

Tērā ko Pōhutukawa e rikoriko ana i te pō.

Te tai rā

Te tai rā 

Te tai rā e pari ana ki hea

E pari ana ki a rātou mā

Ko tauatia ngā maunga o Onekāinga răua ko Manaia e te kohu. E rere kau ana ngā au o Te Wairahi puta atu ki ngā ngaru o Te Ākau roa o Ngātwai e papaki mokemoke ana. E auē ana ngā hapū ko Te Akitai, ko Te Whānau Whero, ko Te Parawhau, ko Patuharakeke, Ngāti Kahu o Torongare, ko Ngāti Hine tae atu ki Ngāti Rehua. He karere tēnei o te waewae koukou.

Kua ngaro, kua riro ki te pō tō tātou māreikura a Pam.

We sadly acknowledge the passing of Wahine Toa Pam Armstrong. She was an amazing wahine, a guiding light, and a force for change. A hugely whanau-oriented person whose whānau and faith meant the world to her.

Pam was also known for her love of people, mentorship, guidance, contagious laugh, and love of pani popo, among so many other things.

In her professional career, Pam dedicated her life to recovering and maintaining Tikanga Māori therapy and practice to help preserve Māori knowledge for future generations.

The International Indigenous Council for Healing our Spirit Worldwide noted Pam was an active agitator within the global international Indigenous communities in breaking down the barriers of historical and ongoing colonisation of our people.

Pam Armstrong

October 1958 – May 2024

Many people have benefited from her staunch mahi for Indigenous health and wellbeing all over the world. Pam’s strength-based, positive approach to guiding whānau, hapū, and iwi has resulted in excellent outcomes by applying her knowledge to promote wellness.

As a practitioner and leader, Pam has always believed in working for the betterment of others. She worked tirelessly to promote Māori health and reduce health disparities.

She offered her experiences, expertise, and resources to support whānau facing challenges in mental health and addictions, as well as multiple projects and research papers. She taught postgraduate classes at the University of Auckland and was previously GM for Mental Health and Addictions at (what was) Northland DHB.

Recently, Pam was Clinical Director of Mental Health and Addictions for Ngāti Hine Health Trust with a laser focus on improving drug addiction rehabilitation and mental health services and was an integral part of developing mental health and addiction services both in Te Tai Tokerau and throughout Aotearoa, including moving Te Ara Oranga methamphetamine harm reduction programme forward in the North. 

Pam will be sorely missed by so many in our whānau, hapū, iwi and wider community.

Moe mai ra e te Rangatira hoki ki nga matua tupuna kua wehe, haere heare haere hoki atu.

Ngā mihi o te wā


Peter Thomas (he/him/his)

Te Rarawa

Manager Hauora Māori Tai Tokerau (Northland)



The aim of Te Ara Oranga is to reduce the demand for methamphetamine through community and individually targeted projects that align the resources of Northland Police, Northland DHB, non-government agencies and the community. 

Te ara Oranga background

A proceeds of crime fund bid provided 3 million dollars of funding to Police and Health to enhance their enforcement and treatment activities respectively.

Northland communities are among the most vulnerable in New Zealand. High rates of poverty and crime combine with low rates of education and employment to provide a lucrative market for organised crime to peddle methamphetamine to those who seek an immediate escape from their reality.

Large seizures of methamphetamine such as this 500kg bust on a Northland beach in 2016, violent gang crime including murders linked to methamphetamine and reports that methamphetamine was easier to get in Northland than cannabis led to a necessity to act

One thing we didn’t know was, just how much meth was being consumed in Northland. we worked with the National Drug Intelligence Bureau and local council to introduce wastewater testing for drugs in Whangarei.


Sept 2017 to March 2024

Referral to Choice Programme

Treatment Cases

Referrals to employment


Sept 2017 to March 2024

Referrals for treatment


Search warrants

‘Lets make a change’ Waiata

Taniora (seen here second from left) is a community support worker for Ngāti Whātua health provider Te Hā Oranga. Play video above.

Taniora Tauariki song ‘Let’s Make a Change,’ that was written two years earlier, was licensed as the theme song for Te Ara Oranga – honouring the communities’ suggestion that a waiata be used to spread the prevention message.

Highlights Reel and Overview of Te Ara Oranga – A video that highlights the people, ideas and History that created Te Ara Oranga

Singer-songwriters Taniora (Daniel) Tauariki and Hone Winder-Murray take the inspirational words of Let’s Make A Change around Northland and get the community involved.

Video Library

We have tailored a range of videos to facilitate the Te Ara Oranga Journey

Many people from all walks of life are victims of meth harm.  They are the communities, the whānau of users and the users themselves.

We regularly hear from our people in Northland of the terrible effect methamphetamine is having on individuals and their Whānau.  We see it in Family Harm Reports, Fatal crashes, homicides, sexual crimes, volume and serious crime.

Whānau of users struggle to understand and support their loved ones through addiction and users suffer poor health and turn to crime to support their addiction. 90% of reports of concern to Oranga Tamariki are related to meth.

There had been a 23 percent increase in clients with methamphetamine related diagnoses that had inpatient stays in Timatanga Hou Detox Unit from 2014 to 2016.

Alcohol and Other Drug practitioners reported that methamphetamine was now a common presentation, often replacing cannabis, particularly after “drug busts” when cannabis is scarce.

There appeared to be limited understanding of the cycle of meth addiction and the role of each agency involved with user. The first priority should be to provide an effective intervention as quickly as possible, preferably at the time of first contact, even if this is only brief. Evidence suggest people who use amphetamine-type substances are recognised as less likely to access and to stay in treatment  (Kelly et al 2005 ) In 2010 the Ministry of Health research noted that people who use meth may be somewhat more difficult to engage in treatment because of the nature of its effects, and the general stigma in the community about admitting meth use. We reviewed international literature and in 2016 the Office of the Surgeon General in the United States released a report title: Facing Addiction in America. 

The report identified the Matrix model which is 16-week structured multi component behaviour model.  This has proven effective at reducing substance misuse and associated risky behaviours in controlled trials over the past 20 years.

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Te Ara Oranga is about working in a tangible and engaging style with the community and agencies, focusing on delivering a holistic approach to health and policing to produce better outcomes for all.

Copyright © 2023 – Te Ara Oranga