Welcome to our Spring 2019 Newsletter. We hope you enjoy reading the articles.

Thank you all for your support and commitment to our community.

From the Team at Starfish



Starfish Clinical Team

The clinical team has grown in the last few months, as demand for our services grows.  David Baxendine covers counselling in South Waikato. Sandra Van De Pas an experienced Counsellor joined us in September, followed by Nadine Rogers a social worker. Nadine will be acting as operations manager when Jo is on leave. We will be sad to see our three students leave us at the end of the year as they all qualify with their degrees. Sue & David – counsellors, and Elise – social worker.


Two events were organised during the year – The winter Solstice in Matamata and the WATFF (Wheels- Art-Talent- Free Food) in Morrinsville. Both events were youth lead, ensuring participants gained life skills and connected to other youth in the community. Throughout the course of the programme it was noticed that Tukana-Teina was applied naturally as the older youth helped to support and mentor the younger youth.







Before School, After school and Holiday Programme

We are very proud to see increasing attendance numbers for the Before School Care programme. This programme was introduced to the community in June after identifying a need for local caregivers.The growing number of children attending the Before School Programme shows us that local families are happy with this service. Being a registered OSCAR provider also allows some caregivers access to WINZ subsidies, which can be a much neededsupport from some families.

The recent Holiday programme we ran was very successful. Our fantastic team of staff are committed to offering quality out of school care and recreation to every child.

Children were offered a variety of activities during the week including sports projects run by energize Waikato. Our program also included trips to Hamilton Lake and Gardens, Tamahere Skate Park and Auckland Zoo. The children voted Auckland Zoo the favourite out of all of our trips.




TeWhetaRangaira (TWR )

The alternative education program has had a fresh injection of passion and skill by adding Rewiti, Sharon and Vanita to the team. Rewiti enjoys history and is knowledgeable in tikanga/maori protocol as well as being an excellent rugby player. Sharon is experienced working with young people and is a talented cook. Sharon has utilised her cooking skills and with Sharon’s guidance the TWR students have cooked many delicious dishes.Vanita complements Sharon and Rewiti’s passion and skill with her in knowledge of educational systems and student learning processes.

In term three, after a goal building session the students decided to give back to the community by building a maimai style hut. The students engaged well with this project, developing basic skills with power tools and health and safety. They then donated it to Firth Primary School where it will be placed in their native planting area.

The youth felt a great sense of mana and accomplishment when they had finished building the maimai. One young student has since become interested in pursuing a career in building as a result of engaging in this building project.

Term four learning is structured around places around the world, horticulture, different cultures, and cooking styles. For example, the students were recently learning aboutIreland. This learning included learning about the history of the potato famine, cooking jacket potatoes and in the future the students will take a trip to Balle Brothers potato farm.


The youth have also been engaging positively in anger management classes, acting out scenarios and building up their skills in managing their emotions and dealing with difficult feelings and situations. The role play scenarios revealed some talented actors and comedians among our students.


Renovations of 15 Gordon Terrace House

We are very grateful to our volunteers; BOT and Barnabus Trust for helping us renovate the residential house on the property. Since August we have had non-stop work happening at the residence insulating walls and roofs, plastering, painting and putting new carpet and flooring down.We have also had someone to come and prune trees, and tidy the up the garden.  The property looks amazing and will soon be ready for new tenants.


And Finally

At the end of November, Jo heads off to Pitcairn Island for ten months where she will join her husband Bruce. Through the New Zealand Police Bruce has been seconded to the island for a year. We are lucky enough that Jo has agreed to work a few days a week from the island – so the BOT and team still have her support, expertise and in-depth knowledge. We wish her well and safe travels.