About us

Te Whare Mahana provides the national DBT intensive programme, serving all New Zealand, and local community mental health services for the Golden Bay community, fulfilling our mission “to provide quality mental health services in Golden Bay, and assist people working toward wellness and independence.”

Early Days

Te Whare Mahana was founded in 1989 as an Incorporated Society by local counsellors Carol and Simon Parkinson-Jones. It was the realisation of their long-held vision to provide a therapeutic retreat centre where people suffering from emotional and psychological difficulties could come and live for a time and work towards greater wellness and independence. From the very start, the emphasis of this small therapeutic community has been on rehabilitation and assisting people to make positive changes in their lives. Much valued and needed support in those early years came from Dr Helen Kingston, Anne Castle, Rev John Williams Richard, Lentia Thorpe and Rev. Charles Naylor, amongst others.

The house at 163 Commercial St was purchased in late 1989 and the first two residents moved in the following year. A therapy programme was designed and implemented for the fledgling therapeutic community.

The establishment of the Regional Health Authorities (RHA) in 1993 enabled Te Whare Mahana to gain their first secure contract funding, for eight residents.

Te Whare Mahana continued to grow from strength-to-strength over the 1990s and 2000s, including establishing the Community Mental Health and vocational services.
These services were recognised by the signing of an on-going contract with the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board in 2002.

Te Whare Mahana became a Charitable Trust in 2011, with the six current members of the Trust Board coming from a range of relevant backgrounds. Just like the staff, they share a passion and commitment to the organisation, their job being to provide governance and direction.

The incorporation of the Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) model specialising in treating people with mood and personality disorders, makes Te Whare Mahana unique in New Zealand today.

Current Funding

Te Whare Mahana’s services are mainly funded through government contracts.

The Ministry of Health underwrites the overall cost of the National DBT Programme , which is then contributed to by the individual District Health Board (DHB) of the origin of clients. Te Whare Mahana also has a service agreement with the Accident and Compensation Corporation (ACC) for DBT treatment.

Contracts with the Nelson Marlborough DHB cover the Community Mental Health Service, Home-Based Support and Peer Support programmes.

A contract with the Ministry of Social Development funds Employment and Vocational Services.

Other funding is mainly through Work and Income benefits (residential support subsidy) and grants from local and national charitable funding bodies.

Grants are also sourced for major capital expenditure and new projects, which are outside existing contracts.

Te Whare Mahana Trust Board

Te Whare Mahana Trust became a Charitable Trust in 2011. There are eight Trust Board members providing governance and direction. The trustees come from a range of relevant backgrounds and just like the staff, they share a passion and commitment to the organisation.

JOCELYN TRACEY (CHAIR)
Jocelyn has great admiration for the excellent and expert support provided by the Te Whare Mahana team to people with mental health issues, and the valuable difference it makes to them, the local and wider communities. She is pleased to dedicate her time and energy to the Te Whare Mahana Trust as Chairperson of the Board.

She grew up in the rural Waikato, studied medicine at the University of Auckland, and then spent time in urban General Practice in Hamilton and Auckland, with an 18-month interval in refugee medicine in Somalia and Kenya. As a result, she developed an interest in ongoing medical education and completed a PHD on this topic. This was followed by ten years as a consultant to DHBs and Primary Health Organisations in primary care and quality improvement, including primary mental health and board/ management issues. She moved to Golden Bay in 2008 and became a rural GP.

Now retired, she enjoys the Golden Bay lifestyle with all it has to offer in terms of social, cultural and outdoor activities. She also spends time working on her lifestyle block with her husband John, spending time with their daughter and and her family in Kotinga and visiting their two other children as they float around the world.

WENDY EARLE
Wendy moved to New Zealand from the UK when she was 20. Since then she raised three boys (now men, two with children of their own), trained and worked as a Registered Nurse in Nelson and Christchurch, in child and family mental health and general nursing and as a midwife in Nelson Christchurch and Golden Bay.

She’s now lived in Golden Bay for over 20 years. She’s retired after working as Heartland Services Co-ordinator for 12 years. She’s involved with the local Civil Defence Emergency Welfare group, has a large organic vegetable garden to keep her busy, and spends time socialising with her partner and going for walks on Golden Bay’s beautiful beaches

Wendy has been on the board of Te Whare Mahana since 2005 and was Chair from 2012-2016. She considers it a privilege to be associated with such a valuable organisation; one which achieves such amazing outcomes.

JAN MORGAN
Jan comes from a background of professional social work, with particular interests in community, primary health (including mental health) and services to the rural sector. Since ‘retiring’ to Golden Bay 17 years ago, she has been an active member of the local Community Health Group, a community representative on the Community and Public Health Advisory Group (CPHAC) of Nelson Marlborough DHB, a trustee and chair of Nelson Bays PHO, and convenor of the steering group for the Golden Bay Integrated Health Services Project. She is a firm believer in the value that NGOs such as Te Whare Mahana bring to the well-being of a community, and is glad to promote and support its work in her trustee role.

JOHN GAWITH
John is a Clinical Psychologist with twenty years’ experience working in the mental health field. He has worked in both Adult and Child Adolescent and Family Services in rural and urban settings and for both DHB and NGO organisations. He was the Clinical Director of Te Whare Mahana for ten years until 2011, and a Clinical Advisor for TWM until January 2012.

He has used Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) as a method of therapy for the past 15 years, and was key to introducing it as the main therapy approach in Te Whare Mahana’s residential programme. This approach gave clients skills to use during crises and to improve their quality of life. The training in DBT gave staff ways to work successfully with clients with high suicidal ideation and frequent self-harm and suicide attempts. Clients who took on board the skills started to improve and often moved out of the mental health system.

John is a a member of DBTNZ, an organisation responsible for providing national DBT training for Psychologists and other staff working with clients with complex issues. He helped to organise a national DBT intensive training in 2003-2004 and a national advanced DBT training in 2008.

He is continuing to work in Golden Bay part-time in his role as a Clinical Psychologist with the Nelson Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

ROBIN RILEY
Robin has a background in education and psychotherapy. She was pleased to be asked to be on the Te Whare Mahana Trust because of the valuable work it does in the community in the mental health field.

She was born in Golden Bay but left for boarding school and university followed by a married life in Malaysia. Her family returned to New Zealand where the younger of their five sons was born. She loved teaching English and Drama but gradually became more involved in counselling and eventually retrained as a psychotherapist. Her family moved to Wellington where she worked in the counselling service at Victoria University. She also worked as a therapist in the sexual abuse healing centre at Porirua and in a private practice in Wellington with a group of psychologists and psychotherapists. Her family is now committed to the vibrant community of Golden Bay/ Mohua.

LINZI BIRMINGHAM
Linzi is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s Degree in Advanced Clinical Practice (Nurse Practitioner Emergency). Post Grad Dip Management. Post Grad Dip Accident & Emergency Nursing. She is passionate about rural health and patient focused care delivery.

She has been Nursing for over 28 years, with experience in Emergency Care, Surgery, Immunology, Primary Care and Aged Care. Specialised areas include disaster management and emergency planning, and she served as a Captain in the British Armed Forces in North Yorkshire in the United Kingdom

She was a Senior Manager for over ten years leading Emergency Departments in Rural Victoria, Australia, and in the North Shore and Waikato.

She has been the General Manager at Golden Bay Community Health since October 2015, after moving to Takaka with her husband, two horses and three dogs.

WAYNE LANGFORD
Wayne owns and manages 300 cows with his wife Tyler in Kotinga, milking once a day all season which allows them extra time to spend with their three growing boys. He is a 6th generation local in Golden Bay. He met Tyler while completing a Diploma of Farm Management with Distinction at Lincoln University.

He sits as the President for Federated Farmers Golden Bay, as well as Vice Chair for the Feds National Dairy Executive. Other roles include the chair of Primary ITO Dairy IPG, Chair of Federated Farmers Dairy apprentice scheme and a member of National Inductions Review Committee. More locally he sits on the board of Rural Service Center as Vice Chair and has recently become a Golden Bay Community Good Sort.

Outside of all that, he and his family make an effort to say that they have ‘lived’ every day, challenging themselves to get out of their comfort zones and experience new things. You can follow their journey on the YOLO Farmer Facebook/Instagram

LOCAL IWI REPRESENTATIVE
This role is currently vacant. Please get in touch if you would like to find out about being part of the Te Whare Mahana Board.

Our name

Te Whare Mahana means ‘The Warm House’ in Maori.

Who was Ann Castle?

Castle Place is named after Ann Castle (1926-1999), a founder member of the Te Whare Mahana Trust and Chairperson of its advisory Board for five years. Originally a nurse, then a teacher, she moved to Golden Bay in 1980 and became well respected for involvement in social and health issues, strongly supporting many causes as a GB Community Board member.