Northland District Health Board's new mental health and addiction services subacute unit has been officially opened and blessed.

On Friday kaumātua, kuia, staff and contractors brought life into the unit, called Tu Kaha, which replaces a building that was damp and was going to cost over $300,000 to repair.

Ian McKenzie, general manager of Mental Health and Addiction Services for Northland DHB, said the service provides transitional treatment and rehabilitation to minimise the need for hospitalisation.

"We promote independence and quality of life for people with a mental illness at a crucial point of recovery or relapse so it was really important to ensure that they had a suitable place to stay to achieve that."


On average there are 100 individual stays for up to three weeks per year at the facility.

"The house accommodates six clients at any one time and we have a marae attached to the house to enable whānau meetings and kōrero," McKenzie said.

The previous facility had been in the same residential street in Kaikohe for over 10 years and is well supported by the mid-north community.

"Everyone is very proud of this facility in Kaikohe, including patients and their whānau who describe a feeling of being 'valued' and certainly not forgotten.

"This beautiful new building fills a very valuable purpose in our mid-North community," McKenzie said.