The Whanau Centre, Mairehau

The Whānau Centre is run by the Neighbourhood Trust and offers free services to support Mairehau and St Albans residents such as food packages, wellness workshops, a drop in centre where people can share their burdens and talk through life choices, job hunting support, English as a Second Language classes and more.

Please note that all visitors to The Whānau Centre 

are required to show their vaccine pass on arrival

Available for Hire

Would you like to hire The Whānau Centre for your business or group?

Contact Sarah at for information on pricing and availability.

What's happening at The Whānau Centre?

Job seeker support

Job Seeker Support

The Neighbourhood Trust offers CV and Cover Letter support for those who are seeking to find work. With many jobs only being advertised online we offer guidance on how to search and apply for jobs.

We support people who have never had a CV or those who would like to brush up their CV.

Contact Sarah via email to book an appointment.

English as a second language lessons

English as a Second Language classes (ESOL)

Neighbourhood Trust is pleased to offer free English (ESOL) lessons to newcomers and migrants with English as a second language, or with low levels of English.

The one-hour long, daytime classes, are taught by a qualified ESOL teacher and are run once a week on Tuesday or Thursday. Lessons cover conversation; grammar; punctuation; reading; and understanding common Kiwi phrases and the context of them in everyday language.

For more information about our free ESOL classes phone (03) 3556522 or email

Men's Group Image

Men’s Group

Come for kai, a chat and to share some ideas of things to do as a group.

A fortnightly group for men on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month, 12:30pm – 2:30pm.

Contact Don for more information –


Rowan Durward

Hui with Aroha

A safe place to make new friends and have a free tea or coffee.

A place to share MY story, YOUR story, HIS story.

Thursdays, 10:00am – 11:30am at The Whānau Centre.

Contact Rowan for more information –

Parenting Space

If you are a Kiwi Dad, a Mairehau Mum, a soon-to-be parent, or just keen to connect with others on your parenting journey; this is a warm and friendly place for you.

Drop in with a friend or come by yourself.

It doesn’t matter if you are struggling, surviving, succeeding or a mix of all three; we have a space and time for you to meet with others, have a coffee and some kai, share struggles and successes, as well as build connections with others in your community and get support. 

Remember, there are no perfect parents.

We meet every Friday from 9:30am to 12:00pm.

For more information contact Dawn –


Explorer Series

An opportunity to join a small group to do some personal development.

Topics covered include:

  • Who am I?
  • Where am I heading?
  • Grief
  • Understanding trauma
  • Maintaining balance and wellbeing
  • Surviving and flourishing
  • Hope
  • Safe relationships
Wednesdays (during term time) from 12:00pm – 2:00pm.

For more information contact Dawn –

Kai Box

Are you, or is someone you know, in need of some extra kai?

The Neighbourhood Trust have free Kai Boxes available for households in Mairehau, St Albans, Shirley, and Papanui (Christchurch), thanks to Food Secure Communities, MSD and St Albans Baptist Church.

These will be available to pick up from The Whānau Centre at 49 Nancy Ave, Mairehau each Tuesday.

You will receive a confirmation text message after you fill out the form with a time to pick up within 24 hours of collection.

Kai Boxes either consist of fresh fruit and vegetables, or a variety of staple grocery items such as canned goods and cereals.

How to request a Kai Box

Fill out the form or call 027 710 0022 to request a Neighbourhood Trust Kai Box.

If you need kai urgently, please call 027 710 0022 to discuss your options.

Kai Box

The Whānau Centre parenting resources

We have a range of books, CDs, DVDs and other resources on a wide range of parenting topics at The Whānau Centre that you are welcome to come and read, browse or borrow. Please come and see what is available. We would also welcome any suggestions regarding specific resources or topics that you would be interested in.

Also check out our parenting support page.

The Whānau Centre people

We have a great team of people who love building relationships and serving their community. Please reach out to us if there’s anything we can help you with.

Don Benn

Community Development Worker

Don is an experienced father of three teenagers, and has years of experience working in the community as both a Teacher and 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.

Contact Don:
027 956 9202

Dawn Hastings

Community Development Worker

  • Mairehau Project
  • Parenting Support
  • Kai Box

Dawn is a wonderful listener and relationship builder. She is trained as a primary school teacher, has completed counselling training, and has a background working in mental health support, including suicide prevention.

She is available to meet up and talk through whānau planning, and give parenting and life advice.

Contact Dawn:
027 710 0022      

Sarah Tomsett

Operations Manager

Sarah has a passion for supporting people to reach their potential in all areas of life. 

She oversees our Kai Box distribution; supports our community members create CVs, seek employment, and improve interviewing techniques; and is currently establishing a Strength and Balance class for people over 60.

Contact Sarah:
027 710 0042 

Rowan Durward

Rowan Durward

Community Chaplain

Rowan’s purpose as a Community Chaplain 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.

Contact Rowan:

Christine Arnold

ESOL Tutor

Christine is passionate about helping students from other countries to achieve their goals through improving their English skills.

Contact Christine:

Where to find us

Whānau Centre News

Parenting Support Christchurch Mairehau

The Best ‘You’ That You Can Be Workshops

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

Whānau Snackbox Workshops

‘Bite-sized’ sessions covering skills to assist you to be an effective member of your whanau.
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Neighbourhood Trust Kai Box pantry

New heart for Christchurch’s Mairehau community

Daily Encourager article - A community space, even more needed since the Covid-19 lockdown, is being created in Mairehau.
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The Whanau Centre

NHT in the Nor’West News

Community hub, The Whanau Centre, 'filling a gap' for families in Mairehau.
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