Vanessa Caldwell

National manager, Matua Raḵi

(Kāi Tahu, Te Rapuwai, Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe)

It is a privilege to lead the Matua Raḵi team and addiction workforce development. Our aim is to equip, connect and support a highly competent and confident workforce to provide responsive and effective services to minimise addiction-related harm and improve wellbeing for people with addiction problems, their families and whānau. As addiction is everyone's business, this work extends beyond the specialist addiction workforce to include allied and other health practitioners who also need to be well equipped to respond to issues of addiction related harm in people they meet at the frontline.   

I have worked in the addiction sector for more than 23 years as a psychologist and service manager in residential and outpatient addiction services in the Wellington area. Prior to joining Matua Raḵi to lead the methamphetamine initiatives, I was Executive Director of Instep, a national behavioural healthcare company that assists organisations to respond to mental health and addiction issues in their workplaces.

I have an MBA and my doctorate study was focused on how family members manage the process of seeking compulsory treatment for people with severe addictions.    

I have previously served on the dapaanz board (2010-2015) and am currently co-chair of the National Committee of Addiction Treatment (