Kaupapa Māori

Kaupapa Māori treatment providers offer programmes designed specifically for Māori. These services offer Manaaki and a safe environment for whakaora or healing.


Kaupapa Māori services look at far more than just drug and alcohol problems. They take a holistic approach to the recovery process. Like most services, they will offer one-to-one counselling, group work and so on. However, there are a few key elements that set Kaupapa Māori services apart.

There are numerous Kaupapa Māori drug treatment service available in New Zealand. These videos are just some of the examples of what you may expect to find. Some are residential services, others are outpatient and some are a mix of both. So what are they all about?

Many of these services will utilise, in one way or another, a Maori health model known as Te Whare Tapa Whā. This model uses the analogy of a whare, looking at the four walls as the key elements of hauora:

  • Taha Tinana (physical health)
  • Taha Wairua (spiritual health)
  • Taha Whānau (family health)
  • Taha Hinengaro (mental/emotional health)

Te Whare Tapa Whā suggests that if one wall of the whare is affected negatively, then all four walls are affected. This is why many Kaupapa Māori services strongly focus on these four elements of health and recovery from drug addiction. In particular, whānau plays a major role in the treatment provided by these services. This could mean working alongside whānau to help all members – not just the person with drug problems. This may also mean working with people to help them cope with the environment they are returning to.

Whānau support can be vitally important, however this support is not always available. That’s why knowing how to face whānau in times of change can make a drastic difference to someone’s recovery.

Kaupapa MaoriOne of the techniques Kaupapa Maori use is linking users up with their culture, getting them back to their roots.

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