Our Approach


It is impossible for parents to create a safe, nurturing environment for their children when their own emotions are spiralling dangerously out of control. Te Whakaora's work is anchored in the facilitation of coaching to restore emotional well-being and resilience in the whanau.

Te Whakaora is one of the few organisations in New Zealand who works specifically with high-risk Maori and Pacifika parents. Our clients typically feel suspicious of social services and can be very difficult to engage. Most of the families we work with make significant, enduring life changes, dramatically transforming the environment in which their children are raised.

Point of Difference

Te Whakaora's focus and methodology are unique in New Zealand, as are the kind of results we see. What sets us apart from other social service agencies is that we:

  • Are richly community-embedded and relationship-based.
  • Have developed our approach in consultation with vulnerable, high-risk parents from the community. Some successful graduates of our programmes are now employed by Te Whakaora to provide our services to the community.
  • Are rooted in strong relationships with community influencers, including the Manurewa Marae.
  • Focus on emotional healing and restoring family relationships – addressing historic traumatic experiences and rejection which are the underlying root causes of dysfunctional parenting.
  • Successfully engage high-risk parents (who are typically distrusting of social service agencies), to deliver significant life-changing results.
  • Have adopted an innovative approach to reduce child vulnerability – the missing puzzle piece to breaking intergeneration cycles of family dysfunction.
  • We partner and collaborate with other organisations with a shared vision to effect long term social change in our communities.
  • We are governed, led and advised by a team experienced in social innovation, policy, leadership and advocacy, who have extensive networks in the community, corporate and government sectors.

Model of Care

Te Whakaora's model of care is built around:

  • Christian faith-based practices – forgiveness intervention is a critical part of our Family Restoration course, and reflects compelling international research on the effectiveness of forgiveness intervention for traumatised people.
  • Mason Drurie's (1982) model of Te Whare Tapa Wha – the four cornerstones of Maori health:
    1. Whanau (family health) – we work to restore family relationships (parent to parent; parent to child).
    2. Tinana (physical health) – we address lifestyle imbalances i.e. addiction, hygiene, nutrition.
    3. Hinengaro (mental health) – we facilitate emotional healing from past trauma, to improve emotional wellbeing.
    4. Wairua (spiritual health) – we acknowledge spiritual wellbeing within a Christian faith-based framework with a focus on restoration, forgiveness and hope as a result of accepting Jesus Christ.
  • Solution focussed model – we help clients to create a vision of their future and co-construct a pathway to make the vision a reality. We focus on how to change, rather than the problem itself – listening and reflecting back our clients' words in our approach.

OUR PROCESS