Support for those who experience mental illness and/or have a disability. 


Focus on strengths and talents to help plan for a better future as a member of the community.


Support with identifying your skills, abilities, and preferences.


Career planning, CV development, sourcing work experience and volunteer opportunities.


Assist with finding paid employment and provide ongoing 'in work' support or job coaching. 


Support with interview skills, and study options.

Pou Whakaaro Employment Programme: Andre's story

Finding employment with the support of our Innovative Employment team has been a great opportunity for Whakatane man, Andre. It has boosted his confidence, provided better financial security and given him opportunities to connect with people.

Andre first came to Pou Whakaaro to engage in our services in 2014 and has since started his own Micro Business cleaning cars. Andre now has regular clients with ongoing new inquiries.


His business was started as an inexpensive car clean service that you would do yourself at home, if you had the time.


Cost wise, it is very easy on the purse! For a medium car he charges $25.00 for a clean and vacuum.


Our Innovative Employment Team suggested Andre apply for a truck cleaning position that was advertised in the newspaper.

After enlisting in the help of our team, which included helping to update his CV and creating a cover letter, Andre successfully gained part-time employment to a contractor who cleans for various truck companies. 


Through our Micro Business Programme Andre has gained the confidence and knowledge to do his own books and manage his own clients. Our Innovative Employment team continues to offer support and guidance for his job and micro business.


Bringing home a pay cheque has meant Andre has been able to afford a mortgage, with his family’s support, to buy his own flat that he continues to pay off with his steady income.

Andre enjoys his new found independence, confidence, and security he has gained through paid employment and being a part of the community. He takes pride in his work and is always looking to the future.



With the support of Bay Trust and The Dillon Scholarship we had five people complete a small motors course at Pou Whakaaro, resulting in each participant receiving five level 2 credits.


Contact our Senior Employment Co-ordinator Mei Leong if you would like to find out about how Pou Whakaaro can help you into Employment.

Pou Whakaaro | Mental Health & Disability Support

40 Te Tahi Street, Whakatane | 07 308 8170  |  admin@pouwhakaaro.co.nz