Wairua, together with The Retreat, utilises the Retreat model which was developed in 1998 by The Retreat Wayzata, USA, and has shown increasingly positive outcome rates. The Retreat’s 30 day residential programme relies on a simple approach that:


  1. Separates the guests from their drinking environment.

  2. Surrounds them with like-minded individuals who are passionate about finding sobriety, constantly reinforcing the idea that recovery is a ‘we’ programme.

  3. Introduces the guests to fellow alcoholics whose drinking problem has been solved that show our guests precisely how to stay sober.

  4. The Retreat model is firmly grounded in the principles of 12 Step recovery. We help guests become aware of their condition, embrace honesty and take direction leading to not only abstinence but improved quality of life.


Our 30-day Residential Programme welcomes guests from throughout the country into a safe and caring environment led by highly experienced staff members and volunteers whose drinking problem has been solved. Guests are introduced to a community of people with similar drinking experiences with whom they can relate. Through awareness and education, the guest sees the need for change and The Retreat model shows them precisely the steps to take. Firmly grounded in the 12 Steps, our programme fosters honesty, integrity, accountability and change.


Through daily 12 Step meetings, lecture and video presentations and group discussions, guests at Wairua support one another in exploring the attitudes, behaviours and skills necessary to build a solid foundation for recovery. Our guests develop an in-depth understanding of the basic principles of recovery as outlined in the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous. Rehabilitation begins with structure.


The Retreats evidence-based alcohol and drug programme supports your recovery and aims to help you make a successful return to your career as a professional.

Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Often referred to as residential treatment, inpatient drug abuse programs at Wairua are gender-specific and tailored to meet the specific need of each individual in our care. As a patient, your treatment plan will be developed by our team and influenced by a number of factors related to your alcohol or drug use, including:

  • Physical health

  • Mental health

  • Gender

  • Family history

  • Types of substances used

  • Potential for relapse

  • Medical necessity

Inpatient drug rehab typically begins with medical stabilisation and detox, followed by a phased approach to care where the patient advances through addiction treatment programming at an individualised pace based on reaching clinical milestones.


Core treatment components of our inpatient rehab program include:

  • Assessment/evaluation

  • Group therapy

  • Educational lectures

  • Integrated mental health services for co-occurring disorders

  • Special-focus groups for pain, grief and LGBTQ+

  • Twelve Step Facilitation therapy

  • Wellness activities (fitness, yoga, swimming)

  • Spiritual care services

  • Individual therapy

  • Equine therary

Patients who have more complex addiction issues may require more time in treatment to address:

  • Co-occurring mental health complications

  • Relapse prevention

  • Sober living skills

  • Special issues and concerns

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Wairua, 1002 Tirau Road, Karapiro, Waikato, NZ

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