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 cdw@nht.org.nz 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 churchmanager@sabc.org.nz 
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 communitychaplain@sabc.org.nz

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 community@nht.org.nz 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.

NHT in the Nor’West News

The Whanau Centre

The Neighbourhood Trust’s new Mairehau community hub, The Whanau Centre, was recently featured in an article in local newspaper the Nor’West News. Read the full article below.

Community hub ‘filling a gap’ for families in Mairehau

By Bea Gooding

A new community hub will soon open its doors in Mairehau, following an increased need for physical and social support in the area.

The Neighbourhood Trust is in the process of revamping their former Pay It Forward store premises to make room for The Whanau Centre.

It comes at a time when community organisations have been scrambling to pivot their services to better support the increasing number of people facing unemployment and other hardships due to Covid-19.

Said the trust’s community development worker Don Benn: “The Whanau Centre provides a physical presence for The Neighbourhood Trust to operate in the heart of Mairehau, which has seen an increased need for community connection since the lockdown.

“Accessibility is a big factor for people needing some help, and the centre will make it easier for families to reach.”

During the lockdown the organisation delivered food packages to families and vulnerable people in need, but Mr Benn said “hand-outs” were not a long term solution.

Even though the service is essential, he believed having a permanent facility was more beneficial in the long run, such as providing the opportunity for people to build important skills.

Said Mr Benn: “With the support from the council, we can provide services such as food packages, a community garden project to help families be more in control of fresh fruit and vegetable production, a drop in centre where people can share their burdens and potentially be referred to places for specific help. 

“We’d love to see an opportunity for driver licensing classes to occur as well as work-ready skills like preparing CVs, interviewing skills and dressing for interviews.”

The project has been in the works since January this year, which Mr Benn believed was “filling the gap” in the Mairehau community.

The trust’s former Pay It Forward store previously sold locally handcrafted goods, with its proceeds being fed back into community projects.

But with the premises now vacated, they believed it was a perfect opportunity to utilise the space and get the project off the ground which will be ready to enjoy by the end of August.

“Covid-19 has really accentuated the need for community connection. Loss of jobs and hours of work means the people are needing extra support at this time,” he said.

“Although we are at Level 1 again, the ongoing effects last longer, so The Whanau Centre is an ideal location to offer that support.”

Read the rest of the Nor’West News below.

Smile NZ free dental days are coming up!

Smile NZ free dental days

Solve one dental problem or tooth ache with them for FREE! You must have a current Community Service Card and be 18 years or older to be eligible.

This opportunity is organised by the New Zealand Dental Association and Southern Cross Health Trust.

Bush Dental, Barrington Dental, Richmond Village Dental, PAG Silverstream Dental, Ilam Dental and G & E Dental are providing their practice for a free dental day in Christchurch.


CALL 0800 373 376 TO BOOK.


– Booking line opens Monday 3 August.

– You must have your CSC number available when booking.

– They are expecting high demand for this service so you must have an appointment.

– They receive a high volume of calls, so please be prepared to wait.

– Please do not contact the practice directly.



WHERE: Barrington Dental, 14-18 Athelstan Street, Spreydon


WHERE: Richmond Village Dental, 45 North Avon Road, Richmond


WHERE: PAG Silverstream Dental, 4/42 Silverstream Boulevard, Kaiapoi


WHERE: Ilam Dental Centre, 123 Waimairi Road, Ilam


WHERE: G & E Dental, 369 Main South Road, Hornby

Barnett House Recovery Centre Workshops & Groups – July / August 2020

Barnett House

Barnett House Recovery Centre workshops and groups are available to everyone over 18 years of age with lived experience of emotional or mental distress, neurodivergence, altered states of reality, addiction, and/or autism, plus their whanau, supporters and those working to support them.

There is no cost to attend.

At Barnett House Recovery Centre, they have an intentional recovery community (where each person shares their insights and learnings around recovery in a recovery skills exchange and also work together on recovery projects.) They also run a recovery college (where people acquire wellbeing tools to assist their recovery.)

Check out their latest workshops and groups here.