Tupu Drama: Pasifika Best Practice for Addictions

Tupu Drama: Pasifika Best Practice for Addictions

Takanga A Fohe delivers Pacific Health services to Pacific people through the following teams:

  • Malaga a le Pasifika - Pacific Mental Health Liaison
  • Isa Lei - Community Mental Health Service
  • Tupu - Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) including gambling service

The following support is provided:

  • clinical Support acknowledging the cultural uniqueness of our Pacific peoples
  • recovery based planning
  • consumer Advisor/support
  • family Advisor/support
  • linking with other community services
  • building and strengthening relationships in the community

What is Tupu?

Takanga A Fohe provides integrated clinically and culturally safe practice for Pacific people by:

  • acknowledging cultural, generational and diversity amongst Pacific people
  • that Mental Health well-being for Pacific people is dependent on all aspects of a person’s life being in harmony
  • service delivery which is consistent with this Pacific bio-psychosocial belief and is based on the Fonofale Model of Health
  • ensuring consumers, families and other agencies are involved in developing and promoting the journey towards wellness

Fonofale Model of Care 


  • Tupu (“to grow”) is an Auckland region wide mobile Pacific Island Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) & Gambling Service
  • Tupu clinicians provide a range of appropriate AOD interventions which are culturally relevant and designed to meet the needs of the client/consumer.  
  • The role of the clinicians who work with Pacific people is to encourage positive outcomes from their journeys and to grow, hence the name “Tupu”.
  • Tupu works closely with the Auckland Region’s Community Alcohol and Drugs Service (CADS).


Contacts for Tupu

Phone (09) 845 1800

Fax (09) 845 1840

Email: TupuService@waitematadhb.govt.nz

What are we trying to achieve?

The Tupu team were approached to write and perform a keynote drama presentation for the annual national Cutting Edge Addictions Conference.

We wanted to highlight innovative and best practice delivery using drama as the forum to convey these messages.

What have we done?

  • The drama was written by a team member
  • The entire team including two students on placement got involved with the drama
  • Real consumer stories were blended (anonymously) to provide an authentic impact
  • Presented to the wider Takanga A Fohe service prior to presentation at the National Addictions Conference in Rotorua

Tupu Drama at Cutting Edge Conference 2016

What did we find?

  • The Tupu team readily engaged in the drama which built stronger team cohesions (an unintended consequence)
  • We received positive feedback received from the audience of clinicians and consumers who attended the Conference

Did we make a difference?

Presentations of culturally and clinically competent practice can be “dry” and difficult to apply to “real life”.

By presenting the issues through drama, participants were able to identify strong cultural and clinical aspects of providing services to Pasifika peoples that are both different and more effective than usual treatment.

Where to from here?

Requests have been received by the Tupu team for further performances to showcase innovative service delivery using the drama forum.

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