#Methfree Taitokerau

TE ARA ORANGA

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.

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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. 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.

OUR AIM

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.

Health

Sept 2017 to Dec 2023

Referral to Choice Programme

Treatment Cases

Referrals to employment

Police

Sept 2017 to Dec 2023

Referrals for treatment

Arrests

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.

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