Community. Compassion. Change
We believe in the power of the Community, we are motivated by Compassion, and seek lasting transformative Change. We work in communities across the wider Wellington region with all ages and needs.
Wesley Community Action works to bring out the best in people and supports just and caring communities throughout the Wellington region (including, Otaki, Kapiti, Porirua, Hutt Valley & Wellington). We work with people of all ages and stages of life. Read more
If you share our values of community, compassion and change and would like to help support people in our community get through some tough times, please make a donation today. However you are able to help, your generosity will mean the world of difference to people in the Wellington region. Thank you. Read more
Real Talk parenting course makes a real difference
Christine Remuera’s great-granddaughter no longer gets lollies and money as rewards for getting dressed in the morning or putting away her school bag when she gets home.
Instead, the five-year-old, who lives with Christine several days a week, can choose different rewards, such as spending more time in the park or taking a friend with her to the pool.
And the results from such a small change have been amazing. “It’s so good, the house is so peaceful,” says Christine (pictured with her great-grand-daughter), who took part in Wesley Community Action’s first Real Talk parenting course which finished on June 26.
The six-week course also helped Christine appreciate the benefits of spending even small amounts of focused time with a child.
“I learned how to be an active parent, not just passing them off and saying ‘go and do something else’. What’s 10 or 15 minutes a day?”
In fact, Christine found the Real Talk parenting course so useful she encouraged two of her grandchildren, both of whom have young children, to sign up for the second course. The next course will start on October 16.
Real Talk was developed by Wesley Waitangirua staff members Lizzie Makalio and Rosa Ariu. It was inspired by the Incredible Years parenting course which Wesley ran for several years but it’s shorter – six weeks instead of 15 – and it’s been refocused to meet the needs of parents and grandparents living in the Porirua area.
“It’s about taking parenting classes designed for the Brady Bunch and delivering them to the Hekes,” says Lizzie.
The course covers a range of topics, including the difference between discipline and punishment, and the importance of praising good behaviour rather than focusing on bad behaviour.
“A lot of the whānau don’t want to praise, they see it as a bit fluffy and upper-class. So we look at why children need to be praised, and how it lifts their self-esteem.”
Real Talk is the first programme being funded by a three-year grant from the JR McKenzie Trust to help ensure children in eastern Porirua have happy, healthy childhoods and their parents, carers and extended whanau experience being part of a caring and supportive community.
For more information about Real Talk contact Wesley Waitangirua: 04 235 5750
News alert: Pay equity for Oranga Tamariki social workers
26 September 2018
The Methodist Alliance welcomes the landmark pay equity deal for Oranga Tamariki social workers but ask is it really pay equity when social workers in community organisations working alongside Oranga Tamariki have been left out of the agreement.
The three Missions – Wesley Community Action, Christchurch Methodist Mission and Lifewise – are significant providers of support to families, youth and children under Oranga Tamariki contracts. Collectively they have a significant number of social workers working with Oranga Tamariki.
Moira Lawler, Chief Executive of Lifewise notes the irony of the approach: “Social workers are a family of professionals trained to help people achieve justice – and this is not just.”
“Our social workers are skilled, passionate and committed. They do the same hard graft Oranga Tamariki staff do, they shouldn’t be disadvantaged for choosing to work with a community organisation,” says Lawler.
Jill Hawkey, Executive Director of Christchurch Methodist Mission, says making community organisations wait nine months risks creating an exodus from the very partners Oranga Tamariki needs.
“NGOs are crucial to achieving the change and innovation we all need to improve the outcomes for whānau and children,” says Hawkey.
Although Minister Tracey Martin has directed Oranga Tamariki to work with the community sector to report on the potential impact, the Missions are concerned how this will happen.
“We are not reassured by this,” says David Hanna, Director of Wesley Community Action. “It was clear what the impact would be from the start. We are calling on the PSA and other unions, and the government to do the right thing now.”
What's on at Wesley Rata Village
What’s on at Rātā Village in December
Ageing Well Coffee Group
Xxam to xxpm, Monday December 3, location
Xxam to xxpm, Monday December 17, location
Ageing Well Group
10am to 2pm, Tuesday December 4, location
10am to 2pm, Tuesday December 11, location
10am to 2pm, Tuesday December 18, location
10am to 12pm Tuesday December 4, Rec Hall
10am to 12pm, Tuesday December 11, Rec Hall.
12pm to 2.30pm, Wednesday December 5, Community room
12pm to 2.3pm, Wednesday December 12, Community Room
Naenae Forest Playgroup
9.30-11.30 , Thursday December 6, Meet at Rec Hall
9.30 to 11.30, Thursday December 20, meet at Rec Hall
Wanted: young people for a youth advisory panel in Porirua
We’re looking for young people aged 12 to 24 to join a youth advisory panel to help design and create the activities that will improve the wellbeing of children and young people in Porirua and provide them with opportunities to reach their potential.
We’re one of four organisations with strong links to Porirua which recently received funding from Porirua City’s Making an Impact Fund to establish a project called Te Roopu Tiaki Rangatahi. The project aims to remove barriers for local young people so their talents can shine.
Te Roopu Tiaki Rangatahi is a collaborative effort between Wesley Community Action, Maraeroa Health Clinic, Taeoamanino Trust and the Tumai Hauora Ki Porirua Alliance.
The youth advisory panel is central to the project. Wesley Community Action youth worker Fritz Toleafoa says joining the panel of eight young people will provide an opportunity to be part of an important and exciting project, and to learn new skills and meet other youth leaders in the Porirua community.
“We’ll even provide transport to get to and from the advisory meetings – and there’ll be good kai too.”
He says they want the panel to be as representative as possible of the Porirua community. “We want it to include a wide range of different kinds of people.”
* To find out more or register your interest in being considered for the youth advisory panel, contact Fritz Toleafoa, 021 193 9044 or 04 235 5750.
Wanted: a sponsor for an eftpos machine at our Porirua Fruit & Vege Co-op
We’re looking for someone to sponsor an eftpos machine to make it easier for people to buy cheap, healthy produce from the Porirua Fruit and Vegetable Co-op.
More than 100 people buy $12 bags of fruit and vegetables from the co-op's Cannons Creek packing hub every week, but many operate on such tight budgets that they cannot commit to making regular automatic payments from their bank accounts. They prefer to pay with cash – or by eftpos if they don’t have enough cash on them.
Porirua Fruit and Vegetable Co-op co-ordinator Gene McCarten says the co-op’s core values are accessibility and affordability. Having an eftopos machine at the Cannons Creek packing hub would remove one of the obstacles to getting access to the produce.
“We want to take away every possible hurdle and make it easy for people to buy affordable, wholesome fruit and vegetables,” he says.
The cost of the eftopos machine would be $44.30 a month. If you’d like to help meet this cost, contact Kena Duignan, our Community Innovation Lead on firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 190 3818
Find out more about the Wellington Regional Fruit and vegetable Co-op
Community housing project at former Wesleyhaven Village
We're delighted to announce that we have signed an agreement today (December 11) with Masterton prefabricated home provider EasyBuild to build 25 affordable rental homes at the former Wesleyhaven Village in Naenae.
The homes will be made available to applicants on the Government’s Housing Register for people who have been assessed as eligible for social housing and are waiting to be matched to a house.
Work on the $8.4 million project at what is now known as Wesley Rātā Village is expected to start early in 2019. It will take the number of affordable rental homes at the Village to 55.
The project is the first major step towards redeveloping Wesley Rātā Village, which was previously a resthome and hospital. It is an initiative of the Methodist Church and involves a partnership between three Methodist organisations. They are Wesley Community Action, which owns the land and is leading the redevelopment of the Village; Airedale Property Trust, a specialist housing agency which will be the project manager for the new build, and the Methodist Trust Association, which is the principal funder.
A place to share across the generations
Wesley Community Action director David Hanna says the project is part of the organisation’s wider vision to use the 60-hectare site to strengthen community by providing quality rental homes for mostly older residents and creating places for the local community to gather and share across the generations.
“We want to grow a village where older people can live amongst a range of ages, maintaining their independence while supporting each other.”
He says Wesley Community Action has become increasingly concerned about the growing number of baby boomers entering older age with no permanent home and few assets.
“Through our many years of working with vulnerable older people we know that a growing number of them will spend their later years in sub-standard rental accommodation. This can put them at greater risk of loneliness and poor health. We want to help fill this gap by creating an intergenerational community with older people at its heart.”
The 25 homes will consist of eight 1-bedroom houses, 13 2-bedroom houses (pictured) and four 4-bedroom houses.
Wellington architect John Mills has developed a plan for the site to ensure each home gets privacy, sun and views, and to encourage interactions between residents. As well as the new homes the wider redevelopment will include communal space, outdoor areas and a “village green” for residents.
Focusing on older people
Mr Hanna says it’s likely that the four larger homes will be occupied by family groups. However, the focus in Wesley Rātā Village will continue to be older people, as it has been since the first residents moved into self-contained villas built by the Methodist Church in 1953.
“Wesleyhaven was very innovative when it was first built – it was one of the first retirement villages in New Zealand with a hospital, resthome and villas. We’re continuing that tradition of innovation with this development. Wesley Rātā Village will be a place to explore new ways of re-creating a diverse community that has caring embedded into it.”
Most of the 25 new homes will be built on the site of the former Deckston Building which was demolished earlier this year. However there are no plans to demolish the other two main buildings on the site, The Strand and the former Wesleyhaven Hospital.
These two buildings, along with several others on the site, are already being used for a range of community activities. These include an Ageing Well group, a Positive Seniors Club, regular community meals, an intergenerational play group, a nature playgroup and a project to make the native bush on the site site’s bush more accessible to the local community being carried out in partnership with Naenae Nature Trust.
“We will continue to work closely with the Naenae community to develop Wesley Rātā Village into a place that helps re-weave community and build a sense of connectedness and belonging for all age groups.”
New report on progress at Wesley Rātā Village
Our Community Innovation Lead, Kena Duignan, has written a report looking at what's been happening at Wesley Rātā Village since we made the difficult decision to close our resthome and hospital in Naenae in August 2017.
Tō Tātau Haerenga Whakahou: Wesey Rātā Village Our Journey of Renewal outlines our progress to date, our theories of change, our collaborations, the lessons we’ve learned and the mahi ahead. It also shares some key facts and figures and some of the stories that bring them to life.
Significant achievements at the Village so far include:
starting an $8.4m project to build 25 social houses that will be available to rent by people on the National Housing Register
hosting the Kiwi Can Do job-skills training course in our old hospital building. Participants will help assemble the 25 prefabricated houses being built on the site.
continuing to host the Rātā Playgroup and started a new playgroup, Ngā Weriweri ō Naenae Nature Playgroup. We also won a contract with the Ministry of Education to run the Incredible Years parenting course at the Village in 2019.
designing and running a successful 10-week Ageing Well course for isolated older people in a dementia-friendly environment
hosting 126 events and having 1040 visits, many of them repeat visits by people who regularly engage with us
partnering with the Naenae Nature Trust to plant 250 trees (with a focus on Rākau Rangatira - chiefly trees) and bring people into nature to connect and be inspired.