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Partnering with people living life well        

About Pou Whakaaro


The organisation was first set up in 1982 with support from the club services and was called Eastern Bay Achievement Trust. Initially it was set up as a sheltered workshop for people with a disability or experience of mental illness. 'Trainees' made farm gates and kiwi fruit pallets, grew food, did contract work and ran a lunch bar. Service users received a nominal 'pay' of $10 to $80 per week. In 2002/3 after a financial crisis, these operations ceased. The Board and new manager worked hard to save EBAT from closing down. Since then with energy, determination and community support Pou Whakaaro has grown and evolved, and continues to do so.

Pou Whakaaro offers a range of courses and activities in Whakatane and Kawerau that are free to people with a disability or an experience of mental illness, as well as employment support and the Microbusiness Group. Some of our courses include community based activities and many are open to the wider community. In addition we host Whakatane's Community Led Education programme which is an excellent vehicle for the sharing of skills, knowledge and experiences which strengthen and enrich our community. Pou Whakaaro for Recovery is a peer support service for people with an experience of mental illness and/or addiction, and Pou Whakaaro for Families offers support, advocacy and information to families of people experiencing mental illness and/or addiction. Also at our Whakatane office at 40 Te Tahi Street you will find Eastbay TimeBank and Community Resources Whakatane, known as 'CReW'.

Our Core Values


...humour builds great health and learning

Creative Innovation...

...seizing opportunities for sustainable individual and business growth

Above and Beyond...

...exceeding expectations with passion, commitment and professionalism

Whanaungatanga/Respectful Relationships...

...putting the time in to build collaborative, inclusive connections

Mahia te Mahi/Walking the Talk...

...doing what we say we will do


Our Child Protection Policy

Please click here to read our Child Protection Policy.

Our Supporters

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General Rules

Inclusive Learning Environments: Pou Whakaaro strives to ensure that learning is open and available to all members of our community and will attempt to provide assistance to those learners that require additional support. With this in mind, please be aware that the pace of class teaching and learning will depend on the needs and aspirations of all students.

Acceptance and Payment of Fees: Please consider that your enrolment is confirmed once you have returned a completed enrolment form and payment to us or direct to the tutor (where this is advised in any advertising) Fees are generally charged on a whole course basis and no refunds or discounts will be made where the student is unable to attend.

Cancelled Classes and Refunds: If there are insufficient enrolments, courses may be cancelled and we will attempt to inform you as early as possible. Full refunds will be made to students as soon as possible. NO refund will be made if you decide to withdraw from a class once it has started.

Compliments and Complaints: In the first instance, please speak directly to your tutor, or if you require contact the Community Education Coordinator in writing or by phone on 07 308 8170

Behaviour: I agree to treat the venue, equipment, tutor/s and other students with respect at all times. I understand that I may be asked to leave a course and forfeit fees if I act disrespectfully.

Please return this enrolment in person or by post to:

Community Education
Pou Whakaaro
40 Te Tahi Street
PO Box 2025 Whakatane