Nurse Practitioner Service Establishment

The purpose of the Nurse Practitioner (NP) Service Establishment Programme is to support the establishment of NPs  in primary health care and community settings, where they deliver (substantively) mental health and addiction services.

The Programme is funded through to December 2024. Applications can be from either the health providers or the NP (or NP trainee), or ideally both. Preferentially, the health provider and the NP (NP trainee) will already have a working relationship, or the intent to work together. Where either the health provider or the NP (or NP trainee) do not have an existing relationship, efforts will be made to connect health providers with potential NPs (NP trainees).

The purpose of the NP Service Establishment Programme is to improve access to mental health and addiction (MH&A) services in primary health care and community settings by supporting NPs (and ENs) into positions with health providers. Equity and achieving equitable outcomes, underpins the Programme.


  • Establish NP positions into PHC and community settings where the NPs have a substantive role in delivering MH&A services
  • Promote the contribution of NPs in PHC and community settings to provide mental health and addiction services
  • Work in partnership to co-design NP positions in health providers
  • Prioritise Māori participation in the workforce and Māori service delivery models
  • Increase Pacific participation in the workforce and Pacific service delivery models
  • Evaluate the models, including role; how the service has improved access to MH&A services; funding to establish the service
  • Share learnings and ideas to increase the success of the Programme through a network of health providers and stakeholders across both North and South islands.


The funding to establish the NP position is expected to cover a one to two-year period. The funding may cover:

  • A contribution to salary
  • Professional development will include the Mental Health & Addiction short course specifically designed for NPs; and may include the Mental Health Credentialling (run by Te Ao Māramatanga) or some other relevant education/training
  • Professional &/or cultural supervision
  • Clinical supervision

It is expected that each NP position will have different funding needs and different models of care.

Further information is available here.

Application Process

  1. We suggest in the first instance that potential health providers and NPs (NP trainees) connect with one of our team (see our contact details below). We will then work with you to help you to develop your ideas and ensure you meet the criteria. You will be then asked to submit an expression of interest to one of the team.
  2. Your expression of interest will be submitted to our Governance Group to approve or ask for further clarification.
  3. The application will be assessed in relation to eligibility, equity and readiness of the provider and NP (or NP trainee) to deliver the proposed model of care.
  4. You will be notified of the outcome. If successful, a letter of agreement will describe the model, funding, and reporting requirements.
  5. Our team will work with the health provider and NP (or NP trainee) to establish the model of care and professional development and supervision needs. All service establishment positions are required to be evaluated enabling us to showcase the NP role. We are also undertaking research and would intend to work with you to complete this.

Regional coordinators

  • Coral Wiapo – Te Tai Tokerau (Northland): email
  • Belinda Gordge – South Island: email

National coordinators

  • Sue Adams: email
  • Josephine Davis: email

The Programme is being led by the School of Nursing, University of Auckland in partnership with The Fono; Victoria University of Wellington; and the University of Otago. Other key partners are Te Rau Ora; Te Ao Māramatanga – NZ College of Mental Health Nurses Inc; NPNZ (Nurse Practitioners New Zealand); and the Enrolled Nurse Section (NZNO).

Watch a video about Ebson Abraham NP’s experience as a Nurse Practitioner in Primary Healthcare: