It's all about connection

Dapaanz members are passionate about making a difference for individuals, whānau and communities; dapaanz is passionate about making a difference for our members. The Cutting Edge awards dinner is a great opportunity to acknowledge and honour excellence and innovation in addiction treatment practice and research. Awards were presented by dapaanz and Matua Raḵi.  

Please see 2017 winners listed below

dapaanz Excellence Contribution to Addiction Practice award

Dapaanz is committed to fostering excellence in addiction practice so that people affected by addiction can achieve recovery and a fulfilled life.

There are outstanding New Zealanders who contribute to the recovery of those affected by addiction in multiple ways. Research, science, and policy when translated into clinical practice make a considerable contribution to the service-user experience. Also, health and allied health professionals and people in the community, who walk alongside the person on their recovery journey, contributing to the best possible outcomes. 

The ‘Dapaanz Excellent Contribution to Addiction Practice Award’ has been awarded to a person who has made a significant contribution to improving outcomes for people affected by addiction. 

Congratulations: Shikha Mahajan - Arohata Drug Treatment Unit, Wellington


dapaanz Excellence in Peer Support award

Dapaanz is committed to fostering excellence in addiction practice so that people affected by addiction are supported to recover in the way that works best for them. There are many people with lived experience who are working to improve outcomes for New Zealanders affected by addiction. The ‘dapaanz Excellence in Peer Support Award’ has been awarded to a person (not an organization), working in a peer support or consumer role who has made a significant contribution to improving outcomes for people effected by addiction.

Congratulations: Dave Burnside, Odyssey House Auckland - Drug Court 

dapaanz Newcomer award

Newcomers to the sector often bring fresh insight and energy, yet are rarely acknowledged for their contributions. The dapaanz Newcomer award trophy acknowledges excellence for those new to addiction practice. Any dapaanz member who has been in the addiction sector for two years or less can be nominated.

The criteria for nominees to meet to be eligible for the award are:

  • Demonstrates Leadership
  • Demonstrates Innovation
  • Contributes in a positive way to the Team/Work

Congratulations: Laura Hay, Oasis Centre for Problem Gambling Christchurch 

dapaanz Best Abstract award

The six abstracts that score the highest in: educational value; relevance to theme; quality of content; and application to practice will be reviewed by the Abstract Selection

Panel against the following criteria.

  • New or innovative thinking
  • Solution-focused
  • Likely to enhance practice
  • Person / family focused
  • Culturally inclusive 

The Best Abstract Award Trophy will go to the abstract writer(s) based on these two sets of criteria.

The nominees are: 

Doing the Hard Yards: Addiction Counselling and Family Violence Interventions in WairoaAndrew Raven & Sidney Ropitini, Hawkes Bay DHB

Does peer support group work for Chinese recovering from gambling addiction?Wenli Zhang, Asian Family Services

OST and Disaster ManagementDr Denise Blake, Massey University

The Peoples Project - Disrupting the System: Creating SolutionsVicki Aitken & Julie Nelson, Waikato DHB

Northland DHB and NZ Police Te Ara Oranga Methamphetamine Demand Reduction PilotJewel Reti & Jenny Freedman, Northland DHB

Psychology and Social Work: Providing an interprofessional response to addictionAnna Nelson, Matua Raki & Paul Schreuder, WelTec

Congratulations: Dr Denise Blake, Massey University Wellington 

dapaanz Best Poster award

Dapaanz makes an annual award for the best poster contribution to clinical practice. This year the conference attendees get to vote for the best poster.

Congratulations to Kevin Hollingsworth, Te Utuhina Manaakitanga


Matua Raḵi New and Emerging Researchers award

In encouraging the emerging addiction research workforce and recognising  the value of evidence into practice, Matua Rai is pleased to support the New and Emerging Researcher Award. This cash award will be presented for an oral or poster presentation at Cutting Edge carried out by an individual or group who have undertaken a research initiative.

Matua Raḵi Workforce Innovation award

This award seeks to showcase innovations in work practices that contribute to improving workplace wellbeing and staff engagement. This initiative focuses national attention on addiction treatment organisations and services engaged in best workforce practices. Matua Rai’s desire is to promote better jobs for our workforce resulting in better services and outcomes for tāngata whai ora.
Click here for more details 


  • Highly commended - Lifewise Trust ki Te Arawa

  • Runner Up - Department of Corrections

  • Supreme Winner - Wesley Community Action

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