North Auckland > Public Hospital Services > Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand Waitematā >

Pain Management Unit | Waitematā | Te Whatu Ora

Public Service, Pain Management



Formerly Waitematā DHB Pain Management Unit

Chronic pain is usually defined as pain which has persisted beyond normal healing time. It affects more than 20% of the population. Most of these patients are managed in the community by their General Practitioners and in most cases primary care offers the potential to address all aspects of chronic pain.

The Waitematā DHB Pain Service is a multidisciplinary team dedicated to assisting Waitematā patients manage their pain better.

Pain management is about improving quality of life. It often involves learning different ways of thinking and acting so that pain interferes less with life. A self-management approach usually requires an individual and their whānau to play an active role in their pain management. This approach emphasises an improvement in both quality of life and overall function, rather than a cure. We work in close conjunction with your General Practitioners and other hospital specialists. We are realistic in planning sensible and achievable goals. We do not 'take over' patient management but act to support your GP.

For most of our patients pain has been present for a long time - the average duration of pain before referral is 7 years. Improving people's quality of life after such a long period of time also takes time and is not an overnight process. Individuals who seek a quick fix, or are searching for specific physical interventions, will tend to be less successful than those who are prepared to look at all modes of management (including psychology and activity programmes) and to work towards realistic goals which may take months and years rather than days and weeks to achieve. We believe working towards a realistic and sustainable improvement in quality of life is worth doing and has the potential to transform people's lives.


  • Consultants (see below under "Consultants")
  • Mark Cranswick - Senior Physiotherapist
  • Prerit Botadra - Senior Physiotherapist
  • Dieter Dvorak - Clinical Health Psychologist
  • Kim Edmeades - Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Dr Debbie Bean- Senior Research Officer
  • Dr Natalie Tuck  - Senior Research Officer
  • Dr David Rice - Senior Research Officer
  • Jill Collier- Senior Research Officer
  • Monika Skarin - Research Assistant


Referral Expectations

When your doctor refers you to the Pain Clinic you will be sent a detailed pain questionnaire. It is essential you complete all parts of the form as it helps with your pain management plan and allows us to assess how your pain is affecting all aspects of your life.

If you cannot complete the form ask your practice nurse or family to assist you. This information is reviewed and if it is felt that more information is required you or the referrer will be contacted.

You will then be invited to attend an "Introduction to the Pain Service" presentation where members of the Pain Services will discuss how pain management is approached and discuss the various interventions. This includes activity, response to ongoing pain, sleep and medication education.  If you feel that this is something you want to pursue we then ask you to contact the Pain Services and indicate that you are keen to engage with the service. 

In some cases we may invite you to a consultant appointment rather than attend the presentation.

You will then be offered appointments to meet with various members of the team.  We will ask you to complete a second pain questionnaire and again it's important to have this for the initial individual appointment.

The consultation may result in any of the following outcomes:

  • Medical review at North Shore Hospital combined with nurse, physiotherapist or psychologist
  • Physiotherapy (level of activity review) -  at North Shore Hospital where a detailed history and evaluation takes place and a  programme is created and planned.  Follow up is phone or email based until you achieve the agreed plan. You may be reviewed at North Shore Hospital if necessary.
  • Psychology intervention - learning to respond to pain in a more flexible manner. This may be individual or workshop based. The workshops are held at both Waitakere Hospital and North Shore Hospital.  Follow up can be direct or via email.
  • Nursing review - this involves assessment of pain and education regarding medication and sleep. Follow up is via phone. 


  • Combination - Most commonly we combine all components of the team to help achieve the best outcome possible.

Follow up
Our administrator, will call you regarding follow up appointments and arrange a suitable time for you to be seen. Your GP may also re refer to the pain clinic requesting a follow up appointment.

After you have completed the different components of the Pain Services you will be discharged,  back to your GP for ongoing care.  This usually happens when you have made sufficient progress, have stopped improving or have decided that the pain services are no longer useful.  At this time we ask you to complete a final questionnaire in order to measure how the process has changed your pain.


There are no charges for New Zealand citizens or those with permanent residency when they are treated in the public hospital. All non-residents and visitors will be billed for the full cost of the consultations and treatment.


Mon – Fri 7:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Consultant assessment clinics- North Shore and Waitakere

 Tuesday 0830 - 1600

 appointments offered via Zoom or face to face

Physiotherapy (reactivation):

- Monday to Friday 0800 - 1630. Via Zoom appointment or face to face. North Shore Hospital

Sleep and medication clinics led by the Clinical Nurse Specialist:

- Waitakere Hospital alternate Thursdays 0830 - 1600. Via Zoom appointment or face to face

- North Shore Hospital alternate Mondays 0830 - 1200 and Thursday 1300 - 1600- as above


Flexible Pain Response workshop led by the Behavioural Pain Specialist

Online - weekly email with link to pre recorded video-  for 8 weeks

North Shore Hospital - Tuesday 1100-1300


Contact Details

North Shore Hospital

North Auckland

Shakespeare Road
Auckland 0620

Information about this location

View on Google Maps

Get directions

Street Address

Shakespeare Road
Auckland 0620

Postal Address

North Shore Hospital
Private Bag 93 503
North Shore City 0740

This page was last updated at 10:35AM on July 26, 2023. This information is reviewed and edited by Pain Management Unit | Waitematā | Te Whatu Ora.