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Chronic Pain Service | Counties Manukau | Te Whatu Ora

Public Service, Pain Management


Chronic pain is usually described as pain lasting greater than 6 months. Chronic pain may or may not be associated with a disease or injury. It often lasts longer than expected for the usual course of a disease or injury. Chronic pain reduces a person's ability to function and impacts on their quality of life and emotional wellbeing.

More than 20% of New Zealanders experience chronic pain and the impact of pain often extends to family and friends.

Some of the most common chronic pain conditions are:

  • Musculoskeletal pain disorders e.g. chronic back pain, chronic neck or shoulder pain, fibromyalgia
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Headache
  • Facial Pain
  • Atypical chest pain(s)
  • Abdominal pain with or without Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Pelvic pain/endometriosis

The Chronic Pain Service is part of the Counties Manukau Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine.  It aims to provide quality chronic pain assessment and intervention that is accessible and appropriate for the people of Counties Manukau. 

The Chronic Pain Service (CPS) includes professionals from a wide range of disciplines.  They all have experience in assessment and management of pain from their professional perspective.  The CPS team may include Anaesthetists, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Musculoskeletal Consultants.

Our aim is to restore functional ability and enable individuals to live as independently as possible, despite their pain.

Pain management involves learning different ways of thinking and acting so that pain interferes less with life.  A self-management approach requires an individual and their whānau to play an active role in their pain management and emphasizes an improvement in quality of life and function, rather than a cure.

 Our Team

Paul Vroegop

Clinical Lead, Psychiatrist, Pain Specialist

Helen Hanna

Charge Nurse Manager

Gary Collinson

Musculoskeletal Consultant

Keith Laubscher

Pain Specialist

Jennifer Dawson

Pain Specialist, Palliative Care Specialist

Rachel Sara

Pain Specialist, Consultant Anaesthetist

Angela Cross

O&G Specialist

Sarah Colgan

Senior Health Psychologist

Sonali Dutt

Health Psychologist

Jessee Fia'ali'i

Senior Health Psychologist

Catherine Hiko

Health Psychologist

Chamilka Punchihewa

Health Psychologist, Intern

Summer Dawn

Advanced Clinician Physiotherapist

Lisa Ford

Advanced Clinician Physiotherapist

Angela Upsdell

Advanced Clinician Physiotherapist

Velita Menezes

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Saleshni Chand

Scheduler / Administrator

Referral Expectations

The Chronic Pain Service provides a service for residents within the Counties Manukau area.  

We prefer to work in collaboration with your general practitioner (GP) and expect that all referrals will be made in consultation with the GP.  If you think you might benefit from our services, please talk to your GP about this.

All referrals are reviewed by a multidisciplinary team who assess the appropriateness of the referral, then discuss the most appropriate team member to see you and establish a priority rating for how urgently you need to be seen.

Referral Criteria

Pain must have been present for more than 6 months.

No Active ACC claim related to their pain.  Counties Manukau Pain Service does not hold an ACC contract.  Please direct any patients with an active ACC claim related to their pain to a community based Pain Management Programme by completing a ACC6273 referral form.  see https://www.acc.co.nz/for-providers/treatment-recovery/referring-to-rehabilitation/?smooth-scroll=content-after-navs for referral instructions.  If your patient has already completed a community level pain programme and you feel they are now appropriate for a tertiary level pain programme, or need to be referred to a tertiary service in the first instance, please refer them to The Auckland Regional Pain Service (TARPS) at Te Whatu Ora (Auckland District).  CMH is an adult service only.

Patients need to be older than 16 years old.

If aged 12-16 or 16-18 and might be better served by a more community based/youth development approach or are still at school, they can be referred to Centre for Youth Health Adolescent Pain Clinic

If under 12, suggest referral to General Paediatrics at CMH (referrals to Starship Complex Pain Service are only accepted from Paediatricians).


The multidisciplinary comprehensive pain assessment (or “triple assessment”) usually involves one 90 minute appointment with three clinicians.  During the appointment you will meet a specialist doctor and a member of the psychosocial team and a physiotherapist.

During the Medical Assessment the specialist doctor will ask about your current pain, any medication that you have had in the past and current medications. The doctor will review your previous assessment reports and test results.  Following this the doctor will talk to you about your pain condition.

A Psychosocial Assessment will explore ways that your pain is impacting upon your life and how you are currently managing this. The staff will listen to what issues you feel are most challenging and important to you.

The Physiotherapist aims to identify your current abilities and any challenges regarding movement and daily activities and how pain has impacted on your ability to manage. Each assessment looks at your strengths and the strategies that you have developed for coping with the pain.

After the three assessments the team will talk together about a treatment plan. They may ask you about options during the assessments.   A member of the team will discuss the recommendations with you after the discussion has occurred.

Chronic pain often needs to be addressed with small changes in many areas. Some of these may be lifestyle changes. There is often education about pain and an individualised programme for making changes to improve quality of life.

Fees and Charges Description

There are no charges for services to public patients if you are lawfully in New Zealand and meet one of the Eligibility Directions specified criteria set by the Ministry of Health.  If you do not meet the criteria, you will be required to pay for the full costs of any medical treatment you receive during your stay.  To check whether you meet the specified eligibility criteria, visit the Ministry of Health website.

The only exception to this is for the treatment of accidents where the cost of treatment can be paid for by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Please note that the Counties Manukau Chronic Pain Service does not hold an ACC contract, and so cannot provide care to patients covered under an active ACC claim.

For any applicable charges, please phone the Accounts Receivable Office on (09) 276 0060.


Food and refreshments can be purchased by the general public and staff at the cafe situated within Manukau SuperClinic™.

Superclinic Delimarche
7.00am - 3.30pm (Monday - Friday)
Located left of the main entrance.


Free parking is available for patients visiting the Manukau SuperClinic™.  All patient parking is clearly signposted around the Clinic. 
Disabled Parking spaces can be found near most of the entrances around the hospital.  Please ensure you display an authorised disabled parking pass at all times.
Patients may be dropped off or picked up from outside the main entrance.  Please consider others and remove cars as soon as possible.
There is a taxi stand available alongside the main entrance of the Clinic. 


For information about parking, refreshments, travel directions, transport, accommodation, support services and maps, view the Manukau SuperClinic website.

Contact Details

Manukau SuperClinic™

South Auckland

Manukau SuperClinic has a Call Centre to receive incoming calls related to outpatient services.
The Call Centre is open to receive calls between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

901 Great South Road

Information about this location

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Get directions

Street Address

901 Great South Road

Postal Address

Chronic Pain Service
Referrals & Appointment Centre
Manukau SuperClinic
PO Box 98743
Manukau 2241

This page was last updated at 10:11AM on November 29, 2023. This information is reviewed and edited by Chronic Pain Service | Counties Manukau | Te Whatu Ora.