News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Gambling and addiction transition must be well-managed

Gambling and addiction services transitioning must be well-managed

National Committee for Addiction Treatment media release 4 April 2014

The National Committee for Addiction Treatment (NCAT) is warning recent changes to the way gambling and addiction treatment will be provided in New Zealand could have profound effects upon the sector workforce and, more importantly, the many New Zealanders who use and need those services.

NCAT co-Chair Vanessa Caldwell (also National Manager of Matua Raki – the national addiction workforce development centre) says the impact could be huge and very damaging if not handled with extreme care.

“When you’re talking about transferring services from one major treatment provider like the Problem Gambling Foundation to another one like the Salvation Army – or consolidating various helplines into one – the implications for the workforce are potentially enormous,” Ms Caldwell said.

“If we don't manage that transition well we could lose workers, and a lot of people who use and desperately need our services could fall through the cracks. The impact on those people (and their families and whanau) could be quite tragic.”

There are currently around 1500 people working in addiction treatment in New Zealand, and this includes services for problem gambling along with alcohol and other drugs. Together they work with more than 45,000 New Zealanders seeking help.

“This is a pretty small workforce and our workers are quite specialised and can take three years or more to train. To lose workers because of the upheavals of the transitioning process could set us back significantly at a time when demand for services is already bordering on the unmanageable.”

Health Workforce New Zealand predicts demand for addiction treatment services will double by 2020 while funding to the treatment sector will increase by just 30-40 percent in that time.

The latest available figures show that around 50,000 New Zealanders each year seek help for addiction problems (including gambling) and are unable to receive it because demands are already stretched.

“We know there’s not a lot of money around,” Ms Caldwell says, “and we fully support efforts to find the most cost-effective ways of providing the best services. However, it can't be stressed enough how important it is that no services are dropped and that no money leaves the sector as a result of these changes.”

NCAT is the national voice of the addiction treatment sector. NCAT is a group of service leaders, educators, representative groups and elected individuals who provide leadership to the alcohol and other drug (AOD) and problem gambling treatment sectors and their stakeholders.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Leonardo da Vinci - The Graphic Work

The breadth of da Vinci’s work is incredible: from animals to weaponry, architecture to fabric, maps to botany. The works have been divided into themes such as Proportion Drawings, Anatomical Drawings and Drawings of Maps and Plans. Each section begins with a short essay. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: James Hector: Explorer, Scientist, Leader

Publication of this comprehensive 274-page account of the life and work of James Hector by the Geoscience Society of New Zealand marks the 150th anniversary of James Hector’s appointment as New Zealand’s first government scientist. More>>

On Shoestrings And Phones: Rossellini And Contemporary Film

Howard Davis: Roberto Rossellini's Neo-Realist Rome, Open City provides some fascinating technical parallels to Tangerine, an equally revolutionary Independent movie made exactly seventy years later. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news