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Target Group:

In general, students (clients) will be men and women aged 18 upwards, who are really looking for a positive alternative to their life-controlling/addiction issues, and/or codependency.

(We work with people recovering from addictions/compulsions regarding: alcohol, drugs, work, gambling, cleaning, codependency, sex, pornography, [and various other sexual addictions,] relationships, nicotine, food, and more.)


Te Nikau works with addictions in general. Nicotine (smoking) addiction is one of those, so those applying for entry to Te Nikau need to be aware that Te Nikau is a no-smoking programme. This applies to students at all times, on or off the property.

Te Nikau garden fern

There are many associations between smoking and other addictive behaviours. Research indicates that when a person deals with nicotine addiction concurrently with other addictions, that overall success in dealing with addictions is raised.


For those entering the programme with alcohol or drug dependencies, they must not have used alcohol or drugs for a minimum of 3 days prior to arrival. If necessary, they will have completed a medical detoxification. (Those entering programme for other compulsive/addictive behaviours must also not have used alcohol or drugs in the 3 days prior to arrival.) 

Prescribed Medication:

Some students will enter programme already using prescribed medication. However, medication and its reasons for use must be discussed with interviewing staff before a decision is made regarding acceptance onto the programme.

Programme Framework:

Recovery is achieved through the provision of a safe, secure, caring community environment where the individual is readily accepted, and can feel safe enough to address his/her life issues.

To enable students to achieve the level of change necessary to live a new constructive lifestyle, we operate within firm boundaries. The emotional security of a clear framework of rules (a list of our House Rules will be sent with our application pack), a caring environment, and competent staff, frees the student to focus attention on life changes.

Number of Students:

Currently Te Nikau will accept up to a maximum of 12 students.

Length of Programme:

The Te Nikau programme is for a minimum of 6 months.

The first 2 – 3 weeks is a settling in period that allows the students' ongoing motivation to be ascertained, and for the student to decide whether Te Nikau is where he/she wants to continue their recovery.

Following this initial phase, students reside at Te Nikau until the reasons behind addictions have been addressed, and a new foundation for living has been established. This will generally be between 6 to 12 months, although this can be extended to 18 months if needed. (The average length of stay for past programme graduates has been 7 – 9 months.)

The final 5 or so weeks of programme is spent doing voluntary work outside Te Nikau as part of re-integration into the community.

After Programme:

"Stepping-stone" accommodation at Te Nikau may (room permitting) be available for programme graduates to have a safe and semi-structured place to stay for a time before moving into their own accommodation.

Completing a residential recovery programme allows the past to be dealt with, and a new foundation to be laid. The student has to put into daily practice the things they have learnt and the changes that have happened. It is strongly recommended that ongoing support and counsel are continued for as long as needed after the programme. Follow-up, referral, or counselling and support at Te Nikau are available.