What we offer

Our recovery team at Bracken Street offer support to people with an experience of mental illness and/or addiction issues to be valued members of their chosen community in a number of ways.

Our services

Pou Whakaaro for Recovery offer a number of services including one on one and group peer support workshops, advocacy, information and referral to other services, PeerZone workshops, meetings and events featuring guest speakers, 'lived experience' support, smoking advice and cessation support groups. ​


Our Peer Support workers bring their own lived experience of recovery from mental illness and/or addiction to their support work. Their unique perspective and shared understanding can help in navigating a person’s recovery. 

Our Peer Support team offer non-clinical support and advocacy to help other peers navigate the health system and get on their own path to recovery.  We focus on the positive traits of the person and use their strengths to become all they are meant to be.

For each person, the journey of mental illness and/or addiction and how they achieve recovery is unique, so our service is responsive to a range of needs.  


Recovery happens in the home and community, so our peer support workers walk beside you to navigate through your community and support your goals so your recovery is meaningful to you. Peer support is offered one on one to peers or in a group setting, and yes we try to have some fun while learning with and about each other.


Pou Whakaaro now offers PeerZone workshops, which are peer led workshops for those with mental health distress and addictions. The workshops are designed to help people understand their mental health and addictions and how they can move forward in a positive way.

Our PeerZone facilitators have a lived experience of mental distress and/or addiction and deliver the workshops in line with the 5 PeerZone values.



PeerZone is open to anyone with experience of mental distress and/or addiction who wants to try it. Participants are free to decide which workshops they attend or don’t attend. People self-select whether to participate or not participate in PeerZone. 


PeerZone has been developed by people with experience of mental distress and addiction with and for their peers. The workshops are fully interactive; participants are encouraged to share as equals and take some responsibility for the wellbeing of the group. 


The PeerZone workshops facilitate mutual support and shared learning between participants, in other words genuine two-way helping relationships. The ‘kinship of common experience’ in a positive support and learning context helps people to feel connected, validated and motivated. 


PeerZone used lived experience knowledge in its development and the workshops are designed to elevate the status of this knowledge through inviting people to share their own successes, challenges and solutions with each other. 



PeerZone offers hope to people that they can recover and achieve the lives they want through offering a whole of life focus, a positive learning structure, a supportive group, the opportunity to reframe their life narrative and the sharing of practical tools for wellbeing. 

Our PeerZone programme is currently on hold, but we are hoping to get it up and running soon. If you would like to find out how you can get started on our PeerZone programme Contact our Recovery Team today on 308-4930, or come and see us at Pou Whakaaro House, 1 Bracken Street, Whakatane (opp. Mitre 10). 


The Bay of Plenty District Health Board delivers acute mental health and addiction services in both Whakatāne (Te Toki Maurere Unit) and Tauranga Hospital  (Te Whare Maiangiangi Unit) for those in crisis. In Whakatāne Te Toki Maurere, provides 10 beds plus an additional bed for hospital detox. 


The Mental Health and Addiction Services provide community-focused care, underpinned by recovery and harm reduction models. The services are supported by a 24-hour seven-day a week acute/crisis service and acute admission inpatient services. The Tauranga acute inpatient unit, Te Whare Maiangiangi, provides 24 beds and the Whakatāne acute/crisis inpatient unit, Te Toki Maurere, has 10 beds.

In terms of community services, the main ones provided in both areas are:

•    Community alcohol and drug

•    Mental health services for older people

•    Child and adolescent mental health

•    Adult community mental health

Within some of these services are sub-specialty services such as eating disorders, maternal mental health, early intervention, consultation and liaison.

Consumer and family /whanau advisors are available to provide service-user and family perspectives, and to offer advice to staff on consumer and family issues. Te Pou Korkiri cultural advisors are available to provide cultural support to Maori accessing services. The services work closely with community services, including supported accommodation providers, iwi based groups, family and consumer groups.


Tauranga 0800 800 508

Whakatāne 0800 77 4545

Pou Whakaaro services come under the umbrella of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board and the Ministry of Social Development. Among other services, Pou Whakaaro for Recovery has teamed up with the Whakatāne Hospital Inpatient Psychiatric Unit (Te Toki Maurere) to provide non-clinical Peer Support and Advocacy to those who are close to discharge and may need help with the transition. 

Our Peer Support team visits Te Toki Maurere once a week for an hour to make themselves available for any questions about the type of non-clinical support we provide in the community.  This approach also gives the person an opportunity to connect with us before they are discharged into the community.    


Our team is there to complement Te Toki Maurere clinical care, instil hope to peers, engage peers in self-care and health services, help them navigate complex and fragmented systems and promote their pursuit of a meaningful life.

Our stories

Our Recovery and Families services are confidential and the privacy and safety of the people we partner are our highest priority. This section is about the programmes we run and the events we hold. Make sure you subscribe to read the latest. 

Learn More


Pou Whakaaro

40 Te Tahi Street, Whakatane

P. 07-308-8170

E. admin@pouwhakaaro.co.nz

Pou Whakaaro House
1 Bracken Street, Whakatane

P. 07-308-9430

Pou Whakaaro Kawerau
1E Tamarangi Drive, Kawerau

P. 07-323-8170

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