We partner people to live life well through accessing community activities and offering our own programmes. 

Individuals who have a disabiliity and/or experience mental illness, will find our services in Whakatane and Kawerau.

Contact us for more information about any of these services. 



We provide opportunities to learn new skills and develop life skills. 



We provide safe spaces to engage in activities.



We promote recovery and social inclusion in group environments. 



We focus on developing people's strengths and talents. 



We support people to contribute to their communities. 


The range of courses and workshops we have available include life skills, citizenship, training, creative arts and recreation.

We encourage everyone to try new activities, allowing them the dignity of risk, in order for them to gain greater self confidence and self esteem. 

We participate in activities that are available within the local area, making connections with the local community, as well as combining some of our in-house courses with Community Led Education

Our courses are available to view on our calendar and are held in both Whakatane and Kawerau.


Back: Jeremy McKenzie. From left: Peter Rosevear, Michael Pulis and Martin Hill.

Peter Rosevear, Michael Pulis, and Martin Hill joined 7 other contestants around New Zealand to compete in the Rotary Best Speaker Awards in Wellington earlier this year.

The theme ‘My Hero’ was celebrated with a wide array of heroes ranging from Superman to Freddy Mercury. All of the speeches provoked emotions and touched the hearts of those who attended.

Peter , Michael and Martin enjoying the sights of Wellington.

Peter, Michael, Martin all attended our Speech Writing class run through our Navigation programme here at Pou Whakaaro. As well as having the chance to participate in the competition, students also gained confidence, speaking skills and even made some new friends.

Volunteers from everwhere offered to help. We had a fantastic group of students from Trident High School volunteer their time and help with topics and aspects of speech writing.

The class put on an afternoon tea for the helpers and gave everyone a final presentation of their speech before they headed off to Wellington.

All of the staff at Pou Whakaaro took the opportunity to see the final presentations. "They have all worked so hard, and it is great to see them speak confidently in public about their heroes."

“It was so nice to see Peter, who is normally shy, come to life with confidence. It was like seeing a different person,” said one staff member. 

Jeremy McKenzie, as last year's speech winner, offered his experience to the class. 

 “Jeremy did such a fantastic job in mentoring our students that we asked him to write a motivational speech to present at the speech competition,” said Shellie. Jeremy’s speech in Wellington was a winner with the crowd.

"Being a part of the Rotary Best Speaker Awards in Wellington was an exciting and wonderful experience for the guys, said mother Tracey Meikle, "they enjoyed seeing the sights and trying new food."

The trip to Wellington was funded by a Te Pou leadership grant, available to support disabled people and whanau take part in leadership development activities. 

Pou Whakaaro | Mental Health & Disability Support

40 Te Tahi Street, Whakatane | 07 308 8170  |