August 05, 2022
Co-regulation opens health door for counsellors
A new accreditation system has been agreed upon between the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Association of Counsellors for counsellors working in mental health and addiction services.
Gay Puketapu-Andrews, who has just completed a 10-year term as the association’s Te Ahi Kaa or Māori leader, says counsellors have opted not to get through the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act.
That created some problems, so they’ve adopted a co-regulation system similar to that used for specialist areas like counselling victims of sexual violence referred by the Accident Compensation Corporation.
“That was one of the reasons people wanted to be registered under the HPCA Act because sometimes they were being denied employment in DHBs and primary health organisations and those sorts of places that are based in the health system and now that is not going to be a barrier if people want to do that kind of work,” Ms Puketapu-Andrews says.
She says there’s always a need for more Māori counsellors who have the skills to deal with Māori whanau because of their shared culture and understanding.