Peer Support Specialist - Drug Treatment Unit - Arohata Prison

Ko wai mātou - Who are we 

CareNZ is an NGO which is dedicated to assisting those affected by alcohol and drugs. CareNZ supports anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s use of alcohol or other drugs, providing  a range of services throughout the country, in both the community and prison settings. 

This role is based at  the CareNZ Drug Treatment Unit located in Arohata Prison, Tawa, Wellington, The units primary focus and intent is that of a recovery-based philosophy to support wellness across physical social, cultural and spiritual domains, to both individuals and their whānau in a region. These programmes offer prisoners the opportunity to address their drug and alcohol issues while serving their sentence and offer them a pathway to sustainable life changes after their release.

Positions which support the unit programmes are critical for its continued success. One such position is the Peer Support role, which focuses of the effective engagement, support and development of positive relationships and partnerships with individual, their whānau, communities and services on their journey of recovery resulting from alcohol and other drug problems.

Te āhua o Te Tūrunga - The nature of the position

As a Peer Support Specialist, you will be forming high trust relationships with individuals, their whānau, communities and other services, to support those on their journey of recovery resulting from alcohol and drug problems. Reporting to the Clinical Manager, this position works alongside clinicians and aftercare, providing peer support to wāhine undertaking the Drug Treatment Programme at Arohata Women’s Prison. As such, knowledge of alcohol or drug recovery together with lived experience of recovery play an important part in the peer support process. Your own Mana will sustain you on your journey where you will be supporting, instilling empowerment, confidence, optimism, and reconnecting woman in your care with their own mana and spirit. Intentional peer support requires integrity, professionalism, an ability to be a great team player and above all a commitment to supporting positive outcomes for individuals and whānau. 

Establishing connections and rapport with service users as part of a thorough peer support needs assessment and overall recovery plan, you will acknowledge that tāngata whaiora and whānau may choose to communicate in te reo. Within this acknowledgment you will identify recognise that tāngata whaiora may consider waiata, karakia and te reo as contributors to their recovery. 

Working within the clients greater whānau structure, you will encourage and support active participation within the programme, ensuring both whānau and children of clients, have access to information, education, and support, and that they are acknowledged as crucial support to recovery success.  This will call for you to work closely with whānau in such a way that they feel heard, informed and supported, connecting them with those who can provide support within their community, hapū and iwi. 

Ngā tino Pūkenga/Whēako - Essential skills/experiences for the role

An understanding of both AA and NA models is required, a qualification in healthcare, people or service-oriented sectors are desirable, although not essential to your application.

Experience skills and knowledge required for this position include; 

  • A sound understanding of Te Ao me ōna reo Māori and tikanga principles.
  • Have completed or be studying towards the Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) and Peer Education Training (PET) through an accredited provider.
  • Lived experience of recovery from alcohol and other drugs or mental health.
  • Computer literate, with sound report writing skills.
  • Proven skills developing a growing high trust relationships across broad demographics
  • The skill set and life experience to be relatable to your clients.
  • Good verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills.
  • An understanding of policy and practice, regulations, standards, codes and policies relevant to client and whānau support
  • Have past experience working in a team-based setting.
  • A solid understanding of Peer Support recovery/wellness approaches within AOD services.
  • Personal motivation , energy and enthusiasm, supported by a sensitivity of spirt and a humble demeanour.
  • A current full, clean drivers licence is required for this position.

You will actively seek to develop an understanding of Māori models or perspectives of hauora in service delivery, and that Māori may consider using traditional healing processes and practices that support health and wellbeing. Acknowledging differing spiritual practices and understanding that these unique perspectives contribute to the support of tāngata whaiora and whānau, you will demonstrate an understanding of the principles of tino rangatiratanga (self-determination) and mana motuhake (autonomy). Overarching is the organizational Kaupapa Māori framework, where all interactions have a basis in mutual trust, respect, reciprocity and whanaungatanga, and as such, all applicants are to be culturally aligned to kaupapa Māori service delivery principles. 

This is the opportunity to join a team of passionate, innovative and highly successful professionals who help people on their recovery journey from addiction and make a genuine difference in people’s lives. A fabulous vocational step, which will see joining an organisation where your mana will be enhanced, and where you will be enabled and supported to thrive. A competitive salary with an extensive benefits package, professional registration, and professional development are positioned to attract highly competent, and culturally aligned applicant. 

To enquire  in confidence contact Matire Kupenga-Wanoa for a confidential conversation now on 0272122918 or  email [email protected] with your up-dated CV and covering letter.

Successful applicants must have NZ residency or a valid NZ work permit and are required to be police vetted. 



Closes: 9 November 2021