Tu Kaha, a brand new mental health and addiction services sub-acute unit in Kaikohe, has been blessed and officially opened. It replaces a building that was damp, and was going to cost more than $300,000 to repair.

The unit will provide an average of 100 individual stays of up to three weeks per annum. It will accommodate six clients at any one time, with a marae attached to the house to cater for whānau meetings and kōrero.

The previous facility has been in the same residential street in Kaikohe for more than 10 years, and had been well supported by the 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," Northland DHB general manager mental health and addiction services, Ian McKenzie, said.


"This beautiful new building fills a very valuable purpose in our Mid North community."

Sally Macauley, representing the DHB, said she was grateful for the honour of cutting the ribbon her friend Petera Reid.

"This is something really special to me," she said. "Early today we were blessed to have a dawn service, and I would like to thank our kaumātua and kuia, along with the staff who brought life and energy into the building, honouring all those who have helped to build it and making it ready for those who wish to visit in the future.

"This beautiful new building fills a valuable purpose in our community. It replaces the one alongside that is no longer fit for purpose, and I understand is soon to be demolished.

"There will be transitional treatment and rehabilitation to minimise the need for hospitalisation; we say prevention rather than cure. We promote independence and quality of life for people with a mental health illness at a crucial point of recovery or relapse."

Northland DHB general manager mental health and addiction services, Ian McKenzie, said the new unit was an important symbol of the DHB's commitment to work in communities.