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Tuari Potiki

Tuari is of Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe and Waitaha descent. He has more than 30 years’ experience in Māori alcohol and drug and mental health services, as a both a clinician and manager. He is currently Director of Māori Development at the University of Otago. He is also Chair of the New Zealand Drug Foundation, Chair of the national Needle Exchange Services Trust (NEST), and is a Board member of Te Rau Ora (a Māori health workforce development organisation) and was previously a member of the Southern District Health Board.

Tuari has worked at Te Rito Arahi (Māori Alcohol and Drug Service, Christchurch), the Community Alcohol and Drug Service (CADS) Christchurch, and was co-ordinator of Te Aroha o Te Hau Angiangi, the Taha Māori Programme at Queen Mary Hospital, Hanmer Springs. He has an extensive background in the Māori health, education, and justice sectors. He was also General Manager of Strategic Operations of the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC) and held a management role at the Ngāi Tahu Development Corporation.

Tuari has been an advisor to the National Addiction Centre since its inception and currently chairs the Board of Te Whare Tukutuku, a Te Rau Ora initiative developing whanau-led programmes to reduce drug harm. He has played a significant role in informing the education and training of the workforces working in the addiction treatment sector. He has lived experience of intravenous drug use and is also a survivor of Hep C.

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