Robert Crawford

Dr. Robert Crawford, MB ChB, DPM, MNZAP, ARCPsych (UK) is honoured for his contribution to the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists, to the development of Psychodrama in New Zealand and to the treatment of addictions while Superintendent of Queen Mary Hospital, Hanmer Springs, 1976 to 1991.

From his participation in the first New Zealand based Psychodrama training Robert was engaged clinically, intellectually, emotionally and creatively by this modality. His contribution to its development has been outstanding; in 1999 he was appointed director of the Christchurch Institute for Training in Psychodrama. This year his contributions were recognised by the Australian and New Zealand Psychodrama Association’s (ANZPA) award to him of Distinguished Membership.

Under his leadership Queen Mary Hospital became a centre of excellence for expanding the treatment modalities for families affected by addiction and the training of health professionals and others engaged around the country in treatment and rehabilitation.

The Medical Society on Alcoholism and later the Doctors Health Advisory Service were beneficiaries of Robert’s expertise and care of his colleagues.

His colourful use of the creative arts – painters, sculptors, dramatists, musicians, dancers and poets – in the life of the hospital and the community attests to the breadth of his treatment palette.

It is fitting that this award is being made here at Waitangi as the emergence of culturally appropriate treatment modalities for Maori met with his commitment and encouragement. The Taha Maori programme “Te Aroha o to Hau Angiangiî ñë The warm embracing breeze” that ran from 1990-2003 provided a model of cultural healing that influenced and encouraged the development of Maori treatment services throughout Aotearoa.

His subsequent resignation over matters of clinical integrity and management demands saw him entering private practice where his interest in the Mind/Body/Spirit movement blossomed.

The future of the Queen Mary estate became a focus of his political activity and he and Jan have spearheaded a campaign that should result in a substantial portion being retained in public ownership, an illustration of his perseverance and principles.

Whai e koe ki te iti kahurangi
Ki te tuohe koe me maunga teitei

Seek the treasures you value most dearly.
If you bow your head let it be to a lofty mountain.