Regional | Whānau Ora

Tauranga’s Te Tuinga Whānau Support Services suddenly closes after 30 years

Te Tuinga Whānau Support Services in Chadwick Rd, Greerton is now closed. Photo / John Borren

After three decades of service to the Tauranga Moana community, Te Tuinga Whānau Support Services is about to close its doors.

In a statement, chairwoman Donna Gardiner said the decision had come after much consideration.

“Closing our doors is a bittersweet moment for us,” she said.

“Our dedicated team has worked tirelessly to support our whānau, and we have seen countless lives transformed through our programmes and services.

“We are incredibly proud of the impact we’ve made over the past 30 years.”

SunLive has asked Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services for more information about why the service was closing. The trust has not responded.

The trust’s statement did not say when the closure would take effect.

Founded in 1994, Te Tuinga Whānau Support Services has provided a wide range of essential services to individuals and families in need.

Te Tuinga Whanau means “to weave families together.” Te Tuinga Whānau Support Services, which has offices in Chadwick Rd in Greerton, is a registered community not-for-profit trust with a history that goes back to 1987.

Initially managed by Awanui Māori Women’s Welfare League and Whaioranga Trust, it was set up in response to the Children and Young Persons Act. The act’s main purpose was to promote the wellbeing of children, young persons, and their families and family groups.

In 1994, Te Tuinga Whānau became independent, governed by community-appointed trustees - contracting directly to government agencies.

The trust says it has been committed to improving the wellbeing and quality of life for the community, offering support in areas such as housing, family violence prevention, supporting the community during the Covid-19 pandemic, budgeting advice, support and mentoring services for at-risk youth, advocacy and more.

Te Whare Waiora in Anson St in Tauranga. Photo/ Rosalie Liddle Crawford

In July 2022, the trust opened Te Whare Waiora, a new wellbeing centre in the Tauranga CBD focusing on wellbeing and building community resilience.

From five staff, Te Tuinga grew to more than 80 staff in 2023, with 200 families across multiple buildings and motels across Tauranga.

In her statement about the closure, Gardiner said: “Te Tuinga Whānau Support Services extends its heartfelt gratitude and thanks to all the staff, volunteers, partners, and supporters who have been part of its journey.

“The organisation acknowledges the unwavering support from the community, which has been instrumental in achieving its mission.

“Te Tuinga Whānau Support Services will focus on ensuring a smooth transition for its clients. The organisation is working closely with its funding agencies to facilitate continuity of care and support for those in need.”

-SunLive via NZ Herald