South Auckland > Public Hospital Services > Counties Manukau Health >

Counties Manukau Health Chronic Pain Service

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 Health 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 Anaesthetist, Nurse, Physiotherapists, Psychiatrist, Psychologists and musculoskeletal consultant.

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, Consultant Anaesthetist

Jennifer Dawson

Pain Specialist, Palliative Care Specialist

Rachel Sara

Pain Specialist, Consultant Anaesthetist

Anna-Marie van der Merwe

Obstetrician & Gynaecologist Consultant

Sheela Perumal

Pain Fellow

Jessee Fia'ali'i

Health Psychologist

Lynn Murton

Health Psychologist

Lisa Ford


Angela Upsdell


Summer Dawn


April Wech

Health Psychologist Intern

Jane Sutton

Nurse Practitioner
June Callan Clinical Nurse Specialist
Saleshni Chand Scheduler / Administrator

Referral Expectations

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

A questionnaire is routinely sent out to all prospective patients. The questionnaire allows us to understand more about the pain and the impact it has on the person’s life. This improves the quality of our assessment. 

We can offer assistance in completing the questionnaire if people are finding it difficult.

Referral Criteria

Pain must have been present for more than 6 months.

Counties Manukau Pain Service do not hold an ACC contract.  Please direct any patients with an active ACC claim related to their pain referral to TARPS at ADHB or via the ACC Manukau Branch to be sent to a private provider of Pain Services.

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 two appointments on one day. During the first appointment you will meet a specialist doctor and a member of the psychosocial team. In the second appointment you will see a physiotherapist. Each assessment will take 45-90 minutes. 

During the Medical Assessment the specialist doctor will ask about your current pain, medication that you have had in the past and that you currently take. 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.


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)

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 set down 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

View on Google Maps

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 9:44AM on December 21, 2021. This information is reviewed and edited by Counties Manukau Health Chronic Pain Service.