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National addiction conference coming to Rotorua
7 August 2018

The Cutting Edge addiction conference will be held in Rotorua next month hosting interesting and high profile local Māori and international speakers.

The conference is New Zealand's key addiction treatment gathering, providing the opportunity for the addiction sector to get together, network, learn about and embrace innovative thinking and practice.

This year's theme is 'It's all about Connection'.

The conference is of particular importance to Māori who are over-represented in addiction and related health and crime statistics.

This year it will explore concepts around connectedness, how it is central to recovery from addiction and how it is central for people helping or supporting whanau experiencing addiction.

A spokesman for the conference said humans were social beings and the essence and meaning in our lives was found in the connections we shared with each other, with our family/whanau members and within our communities.

These relationships had the power to build us up or to tear us down and the roots of addiction are frequently found in the breakdown of important relationships – often early in life, the spokesman said.

He said those who worked with people affected by addiction offered hope by supporting them to strengthen their connections.

He said whether it was connection to whanau, culture, spirituality, pro-social community activities, or a deeper connection to self, they helped people uncover a multitude of positive opportunities at any stage of their recovery journey.

Among the speakers is Tamati Kruger, Tuhoe, a Māori advocate and social and political analyst.

He was a finalist in the 2012 New Zealander of the Year awards and was the Supreme Winner of the Marae Investigates Māori of the Year in 2014.

The working title for his korero is "The Mending Room".

In it he will cover Tuhoe society, its organisational structure, health welfare status, what impact treaty settlement has had, the Toiora wellbeing framework and the importance of connection.

He said the effect of addiction on Māori and Tuhoe was well documented and despised.

"We wish to 'mend' this sorry situation collaboratively and in a Tuhoe way through self-determination – an idea that moves towards self-responsibility and sufficiency instead of dependency."

For more information visit www.cuttingedgeconference.org.nz.

What: Cutting Edge Conference 2018
Where: Rotorua Energy Events Centre
When: September 12 to 15

NZ Herald

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