Kiwi Dads Christchurch

Kia ora Whanau, I’d like to introduce myself and explain a bit about Kiwi Dads Christchurch. 

My name is Don Benn and I’m a Community Development Worker with the Neighbourhood Trust who are based at St Albans Baptist Church. 

I have been married to my wife for almost 21 years and we are parents to three teenagers (a daughter aged 16, and two boys aged 15 & 13). Contrary to some views about teenagers, we absolutely love being around our kids and helping them face the challenges of growing up. We talk a lot, laugh a lot, and share a lot together as we negotiate the challenges of teenage years. This has not come about suddenly, but comes on the back of years of working hard to be better parents, learning from mistakes, being prepared to apologise for mistakes made, and encouraging good lines of communication with our kids. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and have had to grapple with doing parenting differently to some of the ways I was brought up with. 

Kiwi Dads Chch is a Facebook group designed to help dads in their role as parents. It aims to provide inspiration, encouragement, information, promotion of events and activities, some fun and humour, as well as some personal reflections. From time to time we may also get an event going where dads can get together for a social activity with their kids. The group is open to mums joining as well since dads are sometimes not on Facebook and their spouse or partner can feed information through. You can find the Facebook page by going to @KiwiDadsChch and you’ll see the same pic as the one in the top left corner of this page. 

As a Community Development Worker, I am available to meet with dads to simply chat, support, and encourage them in their role as a dad. I’ll even shout a coffee. I’m not a professionally trained social worker, counsellor, or therapist, but what I do bring is a listening ear and a few years of experience as a parent to understand the challenges and offer any advice that may help. 

If you’re a dad and would like to meet me for a chat, just contact me via one of the details below. 

Mobile: 027 956 9202
Postal address: P.O. Box 21 179 Edgeware, Christchurch 8143
Physical address: 64 McFaddens Road, St Albans, Christchurch.

Golden Connection

Golden Connections river trip

Golden Connection is our social programme for over 60s – and it’s the ideal place to make new friends and have some fun. Our regular activities include half and full day outtings, games afternoons, movies, meals, foot clinics, mid week church services and a lot of laughter!

Check out our calendar of events and other information in the latest edition of The Golden Connection, our quarterly newsletter.


For bookings or more information, phone (03) 355 6522 extension 112 and leave a message. Or email



Although being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world – it is also one of the most rewarding.

The Neighbourhood Trust runs parenting courses to encourage families to reach their potential. It uses practical strategies and useful insights that will help your tamariki through all ages and stages of growing up. Parents and caregivers leave knowing that they are not alone on their parenting journey.

Our Parenting Toolbox courses are run over a number of weeks in small, relaxed groups, with a trained facilitator in the Shirley and Mairehau areas. They include Building Awesome Whānau (birth to teenage years); Baby and Toddler Years; Primary Years; Intermediate Years; and Teenage Years.

Other parenting activities, based at Mairehau Primary School, are part of the Mairehau Neighbourhood Project. We offer them with our partners, Te Ora Hou Otautahi and Kingdom Resources. The courses are proudly supported by The Tindall Foundation and Christchurch City Council.

You can also check out our awesome KiwiDads Facebook page.


Your Child and Stress - Let's fix this Mess! Webinar Series

This webinar series was created in response to the research of Associate Professor Kathleen Liberty of University of Canterbury. Kathleen’s research into stress reactions in children and approaches parents and caregivers can use to help our tamariki through times of stress are a wonderful resource. We hope they can help you and your whanau work out a plan to deal with stressful times.

Stressed and Calm Emotion Coaching Cards

In Webinar 5, we talk about having Stressed Out cards and Calm cards to use when you are emotion coaching your tamariki. You can download and print these cards, colour them in together, and put them somewhere you can find them easily when you need them.

Holiday Programmes

OSCAR Holiday Programme

Our school holiday programmes are a fantastic way for children to make new friends and experience a variety of different activities in a secure environment.

Upcoming children’s holiday programmes will be held at Saint Francis of Assisi 370 Innes Road, Mairehau, from 8:00am-5:30pm.

Work and Income subsidies are available for eligible families. Enrolment opens in week six of each school term. Changes may be made to bookings without charge up to one week prior to the programme starting. Please note that ALL absences will incur a full fee.

Summer Holiday Programme 2020 / 2021


Early start full day session, 8:00am – 5:30pm:   $56.00

Full day session, 8:30am – 5:30pm:   $50.00

Early start full week, 8:00am – 5:30pm:   $240.00

Full week, 8:30am – 5:30pm:   $200.00

For any enquiries, please contact:

Roana Johnstone, Children’s Programmes Coordinator:                                                                                                        M:  027 701 9382   |   P:  355 6522 ext 111   |   E:

Out of School Care

Mairehau out of school care

Neighbourhood Trust Out of School Care and Recreation (OSCAR) programmes provide a fun and safe environment for Mairehau Primary and St Francis of Assisi children before and after school hours, for Years 0 – 8.

About Neighbourhood Trust OSCAR

Mairehau Primary and St Francis of Assisi Before and After School Programme

The Before and After School Programme is committed to provide primary school children and their families in the Mairehau community with a safe learning environment to develop, grow and reach towards their full potential, while being a positive signpost to our community.


We are based at St Francis of Assisi, 370 Innes Road, in the old two storey administration building. 

We walk children from Mairehau Primary to St Francis (we use a van if the weather is particularly bad).

Before School Care

Monday - Friday, 7:30am - 8:30am

$11.50/per day
Work and Income subsidies are available for families meeting the eligibility criteria.

After School Care

Monday - Friday, 3:00pm - 5:30pm

$16.50/per day

(until 5:30pm)

Work and Income subsidies are available for families meeting the eligibility criteria.


The programme is structured and includes planned games and activities for each session. The children also have use of the playgrounds. All activities are well supervised whether indoors or outdoors, and a quiet rest place is also available for children.

Afternoon Tea is provided, and usually consists of sandwiches, fruit and a drink.

A typical day involves having afternoon tea when the children arrive, then if it is fine we facilitate outdoor games, and they can also play on the playground. If the weather is not fine we set up crafts and games for the children to do inside. 



Arts and Craft

Board Games

School Playground Facilities


The Supervisor and Staff are employed to provide a safe, stimulating, caring and comfortable environment for the children, taking into account children’s individual needs.

Staff/child ratio: 1:10 onsite | 1:8 for trips | 1:5 for swimming or around water

Meet our team

Chelsea - out of school care

Chelsea Meikle

OSCAR Supervisor

I started working for Neighbourhood Trust OSCAR in July 2018, starting as a casual and working my way up as needed.

There are many reasons why I have chosen to work within OSCAR; one of them is I enjoy interacting with the children, observing how creative their minds can be and being able to help them embrace their creativity and talents in many forms.

Secondly, I enjoy this job because I am really a big kid at heart and I get to show this off in this environment and have fun with the kids.

My interests are being in the outdoors, camping, reading, listening to music, photography and anything around being creative with film, websites, and creative writing (in particular, poetry).

Bethany - out of school care staff

Bethany Leigh

OSCAR Part-time Employee

I have been working for Neighbourhood Trust OSCAR since 2016.

I think the reason for why I have been working with the NHT OSCAR for nearly six years is because, not only do I get to be creative and have fun spending time with the children, but I also get the huge privilege to watch them learn and grow into the best versions of themselves.

It’s so rewarding to stand alongside these children and experience a part of life with them.

“I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you Roana, Chelsea, and the other staff/former staff that have been there for my daughter over the past five years. This has been vital in the day to day lives of myself, my daughter and my business.”


Would you like to visit?

You are welcome to visit to meet our staff and see first-hand how things are run.

Contact us

OSCAR Manager: Roana Johnstone | M: 027 701 9382 | E:

After School & Before School Supervisor; 2IC: Chelsea Meikle | M: 027 717 2544 (please leave a message) | E:

MSD and Oranga Tamariki Approved

We are approved by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). MSD uses the Social Services Accreditation (SSA) process to ensure that OSCAR programmes are appropriately managed and provide a safe and adequate care environment. This is completed through regular assessments against the Social Sector Accreditation Standards. An accredited provider will have a current letter or certificate of accreditation. All staff are vetted using a risk assessment as per the Children’s Act 2014. 

These programmes are also approved by Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Vulnerable Children.

Work and Income subsidies

Work and Income subsidies are available for families meeting the eligibility criteria. Find out more here.

About The OSCAR Network


OSCAR is the term used for out of school care and recreation services that operate for school aged children.

The OSCAR Network provides support to programmes but is not a programme provider.

How to enrol:

  1. Follow this link and click the purple “New parent? Register here” button.
  2. Follow the registration process and enrol your child/ren.
  3. Click the dashboard in the Menu Bar at the top of the screen.
  4. Click on the “make a booking” button and complete the booking into the desired programme.
  5. Once completed, your booking is now pending and will be confirmed ASAP.