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. You can find us by searching for @KiwiDadsChch. 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 Connections

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!

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

In addition to special events that we offer, we run regular, weekly activities such as Foot Clinics on Mondays and Strength & Balance Classes on Friday. Read below for further information for June – August 2022.



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.

School Holiday Programme July 2022


Early start full day session, 8:00am – 5:30pm:   $56.00
Full day session, 8:30am – 5:30pm:   $50.00
Full day week, 8:30am – 5:30pm:   $200.00
Full day early start week, 8:00am – 5:30pm:   $240.00



For any enquiries, please contact:

Roana Johnstone, OSCAR Manager:                                                                 M:  027 701 9382   |   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).


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


After School                 3:00pm -5.30pm  $17.50         |      3:00pm-6:00pm $22.50    

Before School              7:30am – 8:30 am $12.00

Holiday Programme   8:00am  – 5:30pm $56.00       |       8:30am – 5:30pm $50.00

Sibling discount for the second child of 10%               Introduce a friend and get a discount

Please note: No refunds for absences, public holidays, teacher only days etc.

All outstanding invoices must be paid prior to holiday bookings being accepted.


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

Roana Johnstone

OSCAR Manager

I have worked with children for the last 14 years in varying roles and love the energy that children have. I like creating a great environment to have fun, whilst passing on some helpful life skills like cooking.  I find it beneficial to keep learning and extending my horizons.

The thing I like most about working in our Team is the family feel of our programme and the relationships that we foster with each of our talented children.  Oscar gives us the chance to feed into the children of many families and get to help encourage them through their lives as we get to know both them and their families.

Chelsea - out of school care

Chelsea Meikle

OSCAR Before and After School Supervisor, 2IC

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 Leigh

OSCAR Assistant Supervisor

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 just over 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.

Lacey MacCormack

OSCAR Casual Employee

Currently studying a bachelor of Social work.  My interests include fun, sport and crafty activities.  I have a bright, bubbly and approachable nature, so do not hesitate to come say hello! 

Being a staff member of Neighbourhood Trust OSCAR is awesome and I absolutely love it (the children are pretty awesome too).
This job will consequently assist me to grow and develop my skills and abilities within the social work sector for the future.

Liam Dodge

OSCAR Casual Employee

I’ve been working for Neighbourhood Trust OSCAR since March 2018, and I’ve been loving my time there. Working with children is something I find fun and fulfilling, which I not only get to do at OSCAR but also as a music teacher.

Getting to watch kids develop, learn new things, and see all the joys that come along with that is a real pleasure. OSCAR is a great, low stakes environment to be able to come alongside kids and be a positive influence for them, which is an opportunity I’m grateful for.

Samantha Johnstone

OSCAR Casual Employee

My name is Samantha, and I am currently a year 13 student. I enjoy working at Oscar as I wish to train and become a Primary School Teacher following my graduation. My interest include looking after and spoiling my pets, which include my Guinea Pigs named Tootsie, Skunky and Piggy.

Shannon Garrick

OSCAR Casual Employee

Hello, my name is Shannon Garrick, and I am a casual at OSCAR. I am new to the programme and have only started working here this year. I think the programme is awesome because it lets kids show their creative side with fun arts and crafts, but also allows them to play and express themselves outside the classroom environment. 

I love working with kids because they’re so creative and adventurous and I think that brings out the child within myself. This helps me with my job at OSCAR. 

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“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.”

 Interested in joining us?

We are always on the lookout for the best Leaders possible to become role models for our children. If you love children and want to make a difference in their lives then send your CV to to join our fantastic team.

Whether you are a Secondary School student looking for work experience or you are wanting to add to your CV, then volunteering at NHT OSCAR is a great place to start, as it may lead to a paid position.  Send us your CV today,


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.