Neighbourhood Trust Kai Boxes featured on Kore Hiakai Zero Hunger map

Community Food Organisation Map New Zealand

The Kore Hiakai Zero Hunger Collective is made up of a group of social service organisations who are working together to eliminate food insecurity in Aotearoa New Zealand, including:

In November 2019 they formed a partnership with the Ministry for Social Development, advising on food insecurity for the community food distribution sector.

They are currently connected to around 200 food banks and community food organisations across the country – including the Neighbourhood Trust Kai Box initiative.

The Collective has just launched an interactive map to help find community food organisations around New Zealand. Check it out here. See if you can spot Neighbourhood Trust!

Light Party 2020

Light Party
For a number of years Halloween has been gaining momentum in New Zealand.
We at the Neighbourhood Trust and St Albans Baptist Church, want to see families enjoying themselves and spending quality time together, but instead by celebrating life, wellbeing and diversity, rather than Halloween traditions. So we put on an alternative event each year on the 31st October – the Light Party!
This counter-cultural event provides a safe environment for the whole family to have fun together.
There’s lots of entertainment, including:
  • Inflatable playground
  • Farm animal petting zoo
  • Face painting
  • Crafts
  • Games
  • Pre-schoolers playroom
  • Black light disco
  • Kids’ entertainers
  • Live music
  • Immersive power point display
  • Free sausage sizzle
  • Free kai
  • Coffee cart
The Light Party is a great opportunity for families to laugh together, eat together, and enjoy doing something that is all about celebrating life and joy in our community.
This year our theme is ‘Noah’s Ark’, so come along dressed as your favourite animal!
Contact if you have any enquiries.

The Best ‘You’ That You Can Be Workshops

Parenting Support Christchurch Mairehau

Wednesdays, 12:00pm – 2:00pm (14 October – 2 December).

Sessions focused on building our strength, positivity, resilience and hope so that we can inspire and positively impact our whanau and those around us.

Bring your lunch so we can eat and get to know each other from 12:00pm, with sessions starting at 12.30pm.

Gold Coin donation. Tea and coffee supplied.

14 Oct
Who Am I?
Understanding myself, what is important and knowing my worth.
21 Oct
Emotional Wellbeing
Filling our tanks and nurturing our emotional vulnerability.
28 Oct
Building Strengths
What are my strengths and using them to understand myself.
4 Nov
Better Than ‘All Right’
Flourishing as well as surviving.
11 Nov
How Are You ‘Really’?
Trusting enough to be vulnerable. It is OK to need support.
18 Nov
Grief Journey
Understanding our own grief experiences.
25 Nov
Where are you heading?
Focus, aim and get started.
2 Dec
Self-Care Made Fun
Getting rid of the guilt and nourishing ourselves.

“The beauty of life is, while we cannot undo what is done, we can see it, understand it, learn from it and change; So that every new moment is spent not in regret, guilt, fear or anger but in wisdom, understanding and love.”

Spaces limited.

Contact Dawn on 027 710 0022 or for more information or to register.

Whānau Snackbox Workshops

The Whanau Centre

Fridays, 10:00am – 12:00pm (16 October – 4 December 2020).

‘Bite-sized’ sessions covering skills to assist you to be an effective member of your whanau. 

Whether you are a parent or grandparent; in a single parent, blended or traditional whanau; you can explore these topics with others, whilst having fun, building relationships, skills and confidence.

Gold coin donation. Tea and coffee supplied.

16 Oct
Whānau Values and Aspirations
23 Oct
Building on Strengths
30 Oct
Creating Emotional Safety
6 Nov
Talking about Big Feelings
20 Nov
Seeing through the Eyes of our Mokopuna
27 Nov
Parenting During Uncertainty and Change
4 Dec
Having Fun with your Whānau

Spaces limited.

Contact Dawn on 027 710 0022 or for more information or to register.

Preparing for Retirement Seminar

A breakfast seminar with Peter Gaulter.
How to prepare to enjoy a flourishing life past 65.
This will be a fully rounded look at retirement, starting with building a life plan and looking into all the relevant topics.
All are welcome.
When: 8:30 AM – 11 AM, Saturday, October 10, 2020 
Where: 64 McFaddens Rd, St Albans, Christchurch 8052
Cost: $10
To register: Please email Murdo 
Preparing for retirement seminar

Get to know our new Community Chaplain

Rowan Durward

We are thrilled to announce that Rowan Durward has joined the Neighbourhood Trust team as our Community Chaplain.

Her purpose is to love, accept and listen to people in the Mairehau and St Albans community who would like support, and also offer guidance from a Christian perspective.

“Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them, and a bit of time to help them to process their thoughts,” says Rowan. “I love to catch up with people over a coffee or a cup of tea. I’m there for them if they just need a listening ear, or if they want to ask the big questions – Why are we here? Do I have a purpose? Am I an accident?”

Rowan originally worked as a doctor for many years. Then after taking some time out to have children, she completed a diploma in Christian Relational Studies and is in the process of completing her chaplaincy training. “My passion is people and God, and chaplaincy combines them both,” says Rowan. “I love people and I love hearing people’s stories. I find them so interesting. Everyone is so unique and different. I love coming alongside of them to be there to support them.”

Her other passions include animals, art, movies and coffee.

“This job is amazing for me – to get to know and support this community is a privilege,” says Rowan.

If you would like to speak to Rowan, or meet up for a coffee, please email her at

Fathers matter

Father's Day 2020

Dads are different to Mums – obviously. There’s a bond that mothers share with their children which is different to what dads have. 

Although different, dads have an important role to play in their children’s lives. Not all dads are the same either. You don’t have to fill the stereotypically ‘manly’ role of hunting/gathering/risk-taking/outdoor adventuring. However, if we want those experiences for our kids and don’t possess the skills, there are guys around who can assist with that. 

What is really important is relating well to males and females in our lives. As fathers, we need to be conscious of how we want our boys and girls to treat each other. We need to be thinking, “How am I modelling what I want my children to learn about relating to men? What example are we giving our sons and daughters that teach them how to treat other males and females?” Our example is so important.

Father’s Day Breakfast and Service

St Albans Baptist Church is hosting a Father’s Day breakfast and service on Sunday 6 September from 8:45am. 

Breakfast includes pancakes, breakfast sausages, bacon, banana, hash browns, toast, tea & coffee.

$5 each or $10 per family.

At 10am we will be having our family service, with Rowan Lyons speaking on passing down wisdom to the next generation, through exploring the book of Proverbs.

We would love to see you there!

Kiwi Dads

Kiwi Dads is a Facebook group which aims to provide resources, humour, information and ideas for events and activities which dads can do with their kids. Time is probably one of the most important resources we can give our kids – not just being around them, but giving them our undivided attention. Not all dads have had this modelled to them, so taking on the role of a father is not something that always comes naturally.

Chat with Don

Neighbourhood Trust Community Development Worker, Don is available to spend time over a coffee to chat with dads about their struggles in parenting, their dreams for themselves and their children, and to offer encouragement, support and advice. Email him at or text / call him on 027 956 9202.

Neighbourhood News issue #1

Neighbourhood News issue 1

The Mairehau, our old monthly community newsletter has been redesigned and transformed into… Neighbourhood News!

We are excited to announce that our first edition of Neighbourhood News is in the process of being delivered to homes in Mairehau and St Albans this week, with future issues being produced and delivered quarterly.

Check it out below.

New heart for Christchurch’s Mairehau community

Neighbourhood Trust Kai Box pantry

We are honoured to have had an article written about our new Whanau Centre in Mairehau, due to open at the end of August 2020.

Check out the original article here.

Daily Encourager
August 5, 2020
by Rosemary McLennan

A community space, even more needed since the Covid-19 lockdown, is being created in a small suburban shopping centre in the north-west Christchurch suburb of Mairehau.

Work was under way before lockdown but organisers say the timing to open the drop-in centre’s doors will be perfect as there has been an increased need for community connection.

The Whānau Centre will provide a physical presence for a group called the Neighbourhood Trust to operate in the heart of Mairehau.

During lockdown the Trust began distributing kai boxes. This will continue.

New services likely to be offered at the Whānau Centre include a recruitment hub to help with CV preparation, job applications and interview skills. Since lockdown, many in the local community have had their hours of work reduced or have lost their jobs.

Classes in Te Reo Māori and driver licensing are also planned.

The former retail space is in a small shopping centre on the corner of Nancy Avenue and Ranger Street.

Survey determines needs 

Five years ago, the Neighbourhood Trust, the community arm of St Albans Baptist Church, bought the shop for a craft co-operative.

When the co-operative outgrew the space and moved into the Christchurch CBD, the Trust pondered about a new use.

Members went door to door to survey locals and returned with 200 responses.

ESOL (English as a second language) classes are held in the smaller part of the space and the other section is being renovated into a lounge, which will open as the Whānau Centre.

The Trust has two part-time community workers. Don Benn runs the Kiwi Dads Christchurch programme and, recently, Dawn Hastings was employed to work with women and whānau.

The Mairehau Project is funded largely by the Tindall Foundation with support from Christchurch City Council and several other funders.

They partner with Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi and Kingdom Resources to deliver a range of services in the community, including whānau planning and financial mentoring.

Committed to helping the vulnerable

Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi is a group of people committed to the holistic development of young people, their whānau and communities. Kingdom Resources offers financial planning and mentoring services.

Earlier this year Ngaire Button became the manager of the Neighbourhood Trust. She was part of the team that established the Trust, in 1999, and was Deputy Mayor at the time of the Christchurch earthquakes.

She says the Whānau Centre will support local families in Mairehau and the adjacent suburb of Shirley. These suburbs have quite a vulnerable population and many are facing reduced income due to fewer hours of paid work or losing their employment completely since lockdown.

In the Whānau Centre’s ESOL room are, from left, Roana Johnston (Oscar programme manager), Tom Hitchens (kaumātua from Tūhoe), Don Benn (community development worker), Leanna Dodge (Neighbourhood Trust chair) and Angela Sanderson (financial administrator)

Ngaire says the Centre will support a fantastic community that has a mix of ages. There is a significant number of elderly and many are isolated. Because the Trust has good local knowledge, during lockdown staff phoned local elderly and delivered groceries to those who did not have anyone to help them.

She says the work was underway before lockdown to convert the former co-op space to the Centre so its completion is perfect timing to help meet new needs.

A really fantastic volunteer base in the church has taken care of the transformation as the Trust wants to spend money on people rather than buildings,” says Ngaire.

Ngaire has been tasked with developing a 10-year vision for the centre. Unexpectedly, Covid-19 and the kai box distribution put the centre on the map.

Land at the rear of the building is earmarked for a community garden to provide an opportunity for whānau to grow fruit and vegetables for themselves and their community. The church is already using the land around its car parking area for growing vegetables.