• What is Te Tumu Waiora?

    Te Tumu Waiora (‘Head Towards Wellness’) is a new service for people experiencing mental distress or addictions challenges. It makes it easy to get high-quality care and support to improve your overall health and wellness.


    Te Tumu Waiora is delivered by a Health Improvement Practitioner (HIP) and a Health Coach, who work as part of the healthcare team in many community medical centres across Northland.

  • Who can use Te Tumu Waiora?

    There are no specific criteria.  The focus is on supporting people to develop skills to better manage existing issues. Anyone of any age with any issue affecting their mental wellbeing or who would benefit from support for behavioural change can use the service.  It could be grief, anxiety, sleep, chronic pain or relationship issues or it may be someone who has a long-term health condition who would benefit from lifestyle or behavioural support or who is struggling with compliance with treatment for a health issue.

  • What does a Health Improvement Practitioner (HIP) do?

    A Health Improvement Practitioner  (HIP) is a mental health professional at your medical centre.  They can help you to improve your overall health and wellbeing by working with you to understand your behaviour and what influences it, the behavioural changes that can help you to achieve better health and wellbeing, and how to make those changes.


    The HIP will assess you, provide behavioural-based teaching and interventions, and help you create a plan to improve your health and wellbeing. They can also connect you with any further support you may need, such as counselling and specialist mental healthcare.


    You can see a HIP about any issue that affects your mental health and wellbeing.  It doesn’t matter how old you are – HIPs help people of all ages.


  • What does a Health Coach do?

    The HIP and the Health Coach work in partnership.


    Whereas the HIP is based at the medical centre, a Health Coach gets out into the community. They may visit you at home to understand your home, social environment and lifestyle better. They can work with you on aspects of your behaviour, social and lifestyle issues that affect your health.


    The Health Coach may also go with you to introduce you to the community services you need to support your journey towards better health and wellbeing.

  • How can Te Tumu Waiora benefit patients?

    Health Improvement Practitioners (HIPs) and Health Coaches help to you achieve better overall health and wellbeing in a non-judgemental way. They look at what’s affecting your health, listen to what’s important to you, work with you to identify the behavioural changes you could make to enable to you have better health, and help you to achieve and maintain behavioural change.


    One of the great things about Te Tumu Waiora is how quick and convenient it is to access HIPs and Health Coaches. Because they’re part of your medical centre team, you don’t need a referral, which means you can usually see them on the same day you visit your GP – often within only 10 to 15 minutes.


    HIPs and Health Coaches are well connected and work closely with local community services to ensure you can access the support you need to address challenges, maintain behaviour change and increase your wellbeing.

  • How do I access a Health Improvement Practitioner or Health Coach?

    You can access Te Tumu Waiora at participating medical centres in Te Tai Tokerau. Just ask your GP about meeting the health improvement practitioner or health coach, or have a kōrero with staff at reception.

  • Who runs Te Tumu Waiora?

    The funding for Te Tumu Waiora comes from the Ministry of Health.


    In Northland, a collaborative of organisations has come together to run Te Tumu Waiora. The Northland Te Tumu Waiora collaborative consists of representatives from Northland DHB Mental Health and Addictions services, Mahitahi Hauora Primary Health Entity, Te Hiku, Ngāti Hine Health Trust, Arataki Ministries, Hokianga Health, Te Manawa Ora, and a family and consumer leader.


    The Northland collaborative also has links to a national Te Tumu Waiora group who come together to share knowledge and learning to support the development of the service in New Zealand.

  • Is there a cost to patients?

    No. It’s free to patients.

  • What will happen when I visit the Health Improvement Practitioner or Health Coach?

    Your GP or nurse will introduce you to the Health Improvement Practitioner (HIP). You’ll then have a session with the HIP, which normally takes about 30 minutes. During this session, the HIP will assess you, give a brief intervention or offer behaviour-based teaching, and work with you to create a plan to help you manage your mental health and wellbeing.
    Most people only have one session with the HIP, but occasionally you may have up to four sessions, depending on your needs.


    If your home and social environment is playing a significant part in the mental health and wellbeing issues you’re facing, a Health Coach will visit you at home. By learning about your home and social environment, the health coach can walk alongside you to understand the issues you face and what needs to change to improve your health and wellbeing.


    Your Health Coach can also introduce you to any other community services you may need.

  • How can Te Tumu Waiora benefit healthcare practices?

    Having a HIP and a health coach available gives healthcare practices more options to deliver quality care to patients. It’s a game-changer for patients who have complex, undiagnosed needs, or those who don’t meet the criteria for specialist secondary services but have needs beyond the capacity of traditional general practice.

    The support of a HIP and health coach means time-constrained GPs and nurses feel ‘safe’ to ask patients if they feel stressed, or ask ‘What matters to you?’, because they can deal with it on the spot if the patient asks for help.

    The referral process in the GP clinic is simple – often just a walk down a corridor – and the new model allows ‘warm handover’. The GP or nurse receives feedback and remains involved in follow-up, while having their workload substantially reduced.

    The HIP and health coach act as a specialist resource, enhancing the confidence and competence of GPs, nurses and other members of the team.
    Not only do these roles add to the richness of the services healthcare practices provide, they also free up GP time, allowing general practices to better meet the healthcare needs of their wider populations.

  • Is there a cost to the healthcare practice?

    Most Health Improvement Practitioners (HIPs) are employed by Mahitahi Hauora and funded by the Ministry of Health.  Health coaches are employed by NGOs (non-governmental organisations). Training, supervision, coaching, and orientation within the practice are supported.