Leading Change


We believe in a society where everyone has an opportunity to flourish, even those who have almost given up on themselves. Te Whakaora is about empowering marginalised parents so they can lead change in their own home and break the cycle of dysfunction for the next generation. Some of these parents now work as Whanau Coaches for Te Whakaora while others influence the development of our programmes and find other ways to effect change in their community.

Tackling the Issue

Billions of dollars have been spent by successive governments and funding bodies over the last 30 years on initiatives to alleviate family violence. Yet the problem persists. 110,114 family violence investigations were recorded by NZ Police in 2015 and at least 80 per cent of incidents are not reported to police. On average nine children are killed each year because of family violence.

The Families Commission Superu Research Report, April 2014, was commissioned to review and report on effective parenting programmes in New Zealand in response to the urgent need to address the high rates of child abuse. The resulting international research found few programmes 'demonstrably reduced child maltreatment, despite improving parenting'. Only Christchurch's Early Start programme featured (Te Whakaora's programmes were not reviewed).

High risk parents are often hard to reach and highly mistrusting of government agencies and large social service providers. It's imperitive we consider a fresh approach to engage vulnerable parents and better protect our children.

Reaching the 'hard to reach'

Te Whakaora has developed programmes that engage 'hard to reach' parents and significantly increase child protective factors in the home. While most agencies address the symptoms of family dysfunction (addiction, anger etc.), we address past trauma and rejection which are the root cause of these symptoms. Referring agencies tell us they know of no other service organisation filling this gap.

What it costs

The government has outlined that in some cases, Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Vulnerable Children (formally Child Youth & Family), Income Support and Department of Corrections can collectively invest $270,000 (and in some cases, significantly more) in a vulnerable child, before they reach the age of 35. Sadly for most, the cycle of dysfunction continues and passes from one generation to the next.

Comparatively, Te Whakaora will work with a vulnerable person for an average of two years, investing approximately $24,000 per person, and for most of the families we support, the intergenerational cycle of dysfunction is broken.

We warmly welcome your support to help create a brighter future for South Auckland's most vulnerable families.