The new Substance Abuse Legislation (SAL) 2016 requires a collaborative Midland health and social sector response to ensure that people residing in this region are able to access assessment and treatment under the Act; and have their needs met appropriately and in a timely manner.

The purpose of this document is to outline the Midland Mental Health and Addiction new model of care for Addiction services consistent with the requirements of SAL.

A stocktake and gap analysis was undertaken that confirmed the Addiction service provision in each of the District Health Board (DHB) areas.  Furthermore it identified opportunities for investment and development. These opportunities include:

  • Service configuration/development and facilities across the continuum
  • Capacity and capability of the Addiction workforce
  • Promotion and communication to manage SAL expectations

This new model of care has been developed regionally through a number of workshops held over the end of 2016.  The new model incorporates opportunities for investment and development as enhancements.  This model is personalised, promotes choice where possible, and provides assessment, treatment and support in a respectful and dignified manner.  It engages people and their whānau on a journey to wellness, facilitating smooth access to services delivered as close to home as practicable.


Given the nationwide impact of SAL we expect the Ministry of Health to coordinate communications at a national level to ensure the public understand the implications of the Act and what services will be available.  The Midland Region will advise referrers of the new model of care and its associated processes via the Midland Mental Health and Addiction Network website.

There are some risks in implementing new legislation such as this.  These risks have been carefully considered and mitigating strategies will be deployed to minimise any impacts.

Overall the SAL and the new enhanced model of care will offer improved and evidence informed Addiction services for the people of the Midland region which is delivered by a skilled workforce.


At the May 2017 Te Huinga o Nga Pou Hauora regional meeting the impacts of the Substance Abuse Legislation and the new model of care was discussed at length.  The impacts on the Maori workforce is yet to be fully realised, particularly as the demand increases and the workforce reduces.  It was agreed by the group that the Maori workforce would need to be grown and built with a move away from the more traditional work roles and positions.  Further work will be undertaken by Te Huinga o Nga Pou Hauora to develop the concept.


Please click here to view the DHB Mental Health & Addiction Employees - Some planning & development challenges.


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