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These values are designed to inform the practice of people working in harm reduction in Aotearoa

They were developed by NZ Drug Foundation Te Puna Whakaiti Pāmamae Kai Whakapiri and Te Rau Ora in collaboration with the sector and hundreds of people who use drugs at a series of hui and forums, including hui Māori. 

Order these values on an A3 poster


Harm reduction puts people first. Everyone has mana and everyone is entitled to be treated with respect and dignity. We meet people where they are at, without coercion, judgement, or discrimination.


We are pragmatic and do the right thing for the right reason. We look for evidence from the people we are supporting that our work is having the intended impact.


We behave with honesty and integrity. This includes knowing ourselves so we can be present with people without judgement.


We have an absolute focus on the person, their whānau, and their hapori, respecting their mana, autonomy, and human rights.

Mana takitahi

We understand and support positive changes that the people we’re working with want to make. We work with them to minimise health, social, and legal impacts without requiring them to commit to stopping or reducing use.

Ka noho matatapu

We know our role and relationship with the people we support. We are clear with boundaries (including confidentiality) and when we may or may not need to take further action.


We are connected with others who use harm reduction approaches and stand up against coercion, judgement, and discrimination of people who use substances.


We value whānau, hapū, and iwi aspirations for pae ora (healthy futures), their strengths, and ways of working. We understand the impacts of colonisation and protect space for whānau, hapū, and iwi to set and reach their own aspirations.