cutting edge conference


Cutting Edge 2017 - Addiction is Everybody's Business                                                 

 7-9 September, Te Papa, Wellington

The annual Cutting Edge provides an excellent opportunity for addiction practitioners, academics, policy makers, government agencies, social services and the broader addiction sector to network, gain fresh inspiration, and learn more about innovative thinking and practice in addiction intervention. It is hosted by dapaanz in partnership with Matua Raki (the national centre for addiction workforce development), Health Promotion Agency and Ministry of Health. It begins this year on 6 september with pre-confernce hui and fono and ends on Saturday 9 September with skills-based half-day workshops. Go to conference website or view the conference flyer

Abstracts now closed

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Oscars Awards dinner

We  encourage you to register for the Oscarz Awards dinner. The Oscarz is an evening where we come together to celebrate and award excellence in addiction practice.  This year we have extended the awards to include ‘Excellence in Peer Support’ and ‘Excellent Contribution to Addiction Practice’. There is also the dapaanz ‘Newcomer’, ‘Best Abstract’ and ‘Best Poster’ awards. Matua Raḵi will be awarding ‘Emerging Researcher’ and Workforce Innovation’ awards.

There will also be entertainment from Unity Wara providing the music and Owen Pomana sharing his incredibly inspiring story, make sure you don't miss out on this fabulous evening! 

Oscarz Awards Dinner Tickets

Member: $55

Non-member: $80

Register for the Oscarz Awards Dinner when you register for Cutting Edge at 


Key Partners



Confirmed Speakers

Dr Arthur C Evans, Recently appointed as CEO of American Psycholgist Association (start date 20 March 2017). Currently, Health Commissioner, Philadelphia,USA where he has one agenda: to transform the city’s entire system so that it focuses on recovery for adults, resilience for children, and self-determination for all people who access intellectual disability services.


Dr Seema Clifasefi, Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Harm Reduction Research and Treatment Center at University of Washington-Harborview Medical Center’s School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. USA. Dr Clifasefi’s research lies at the intersection between substance use, mental health, criminal justice and housing policy, with an emphasis on populations with lived experience of homelessness, substance use and/or involvement in the criminal justice system.


Dr Jamie Berry, Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist and Director for Advanced Neuropsychological Treatment Services, Sydney, AUS. Dr Berry is a senior clinical neuropsychologist with expertise in neuropsychological assessment, treatment / intervention and teaching / training.


Jeanette Grace, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Toa Rangatira and Ngati Koata is Dean of Te Wananga Maori at Whitireia Community Polytechnic in Porirua, NZ. She has a background in Mental Health and Addictions and Indigenous Training and Education and has served on a number of Boards, including past Chair of Ngati Koata Trust, Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Te Mana Whakahaere o Te Wananga o Raukawa and is currently on the Te Wananga o Raukawa Foundation. Jeanette was key in the establishment of the Toa Waka ama Club and is currently Club President. She is grateful for the support of her children, grandchildren and wider whānau members.


David Hanna, Director of Wesley Community Action, National team member Inspiring Communities and Director Partner for Outcomes Aotearoa, NZA common theme in David's work is seeking a more socially just world with an emergent appreciation of the need to privilege the ‘voice' of the person or group seeking the change. Projects he has lead include; development of Government Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, for the World Bank in Eastern Europe on youth participation, leading New Zealand's youth development strategy, championing community-led development in local communities across NZ and partnering with both the Mongrel Mob and Black Power to run leadership development programmes.


Harry Tam, is a co-director of H2R Research & Consulting Ltd, a company established to facilitate the engagement and mobilisation of hard to reach Maori communities for social change.  For over forty years Harry has worked with indigenous ethnic gangs and other hard to reach communities throughout the country and in the prisons.  In 1990, Harry was awarded the 1990 Commemoration Medal for services to New Zealand. Harry has also worked as a senior public servant for nearly twenty years ,providing policy advice to the government on a range of portfolios including youth, penal policy and criminal justice.


Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa, a graduate of the University of Waikato (BA) and the University of New South Wales (LLB), Justice Tuatagaloa is the first woman to be sworn in as a Judge in Samoa initially in the District Court from 2011 and in August 2015 was sworn in as a Supreme Court Judge. With the launch of the Alcohol and Drugs Court (ADC) in February 2016, she has presided over this specialized Court since its establishment. With a passion to reduce offending prompted by alcohol and drug abuse by way of therapeutic means a lot of groundwork has taken place in the last year venturing into unfamiliar territory for the ADC Team as a first Court of its kind in Samoa. To achieve this, aspects of FaaSamoa (culture) has been incorporated to help shape programs suited to implement the vision advocating for safer communities coupled with educating individuals to be responsible citizens and role models within their families and the community. The active role of community leaders in consultation with the ADC Court has contributed to the treatment programs.


Rachel Stace, has spent 20 years in TV, producing and researching many award-winning TV series and documentaries.  Her work includes topics from leaky homes to borderline personality disorder. Rachel also authored the book Love Has No Borders with true stories about intercountry adoption.  Along with her successful TV career, Rachel lived with chronic hepatitis C for 45 years after contracting the virus through injecting drugs in the 70s.  However, Rachel was not diagnosed until the late 90s and was a blood donor in the 80s.  With no hepatitis C cure then available, she volunteered for some of Dr Ed Gane’s first anti viral trials in the early 2000s followed by an unsuccessful course of interferon. While waiting years for a cure, she witnessed many of her friends from the 70s dying of liver failure from hepatitis C.  Rachel was finally cured in 2015 with Dr Gane’s latest anti viral treatment.  She was one of the first to receive Viekira Pak, a revolutionary 12 week government-funded cure.  She is a now a passionate advocate of people being tested for hepatitis C if they have ever injected drugs, which for many is still a dirty secret.  


 Partners, Sponsors and Exhibitors

To find out how your organisation or business can get involved see our Partner and Exhibitor Prospectus 

For more information, please contact:
Lu Budden
Conference Organiser
+64 4 479 4162