About Breakthrough

The heart of Breakthrough is that all children in Aotearoa would grow up knowing they are loved, safe and supported by their families/whānau to dream and explore their potential.

Parenting Place and The Salvation Army have developed Breakthrough specifically for fathers who don’t yet have this reality with their children. Our dream is to help deepen their insight and develop the skills necessary so they are empowered to transform their own lives and those of their families/whānau

Who we are

Parenting Place and The Salvation Army are working in partnership – pooling resources, connections and experiences to achieve enduring positive change in Aotearoa. The Warehouse Group and their suppliers have generously provided funding to design and deliver Breakthrough – a life-changing programme for fathers and their tamariki over a two year period. Research for and evaluation of Breakthrough is being led by Dr. Myron Friesen from the University of Canterbury.

Programme components

Breakthrough is made up of two key phases –
  • An eight week parenting course for fathers.
  • A two day dynamic adventure experience for fathers and one of their children aged 9–12 years

More information

For more information, click below –

Or contact Louise Haines at louise.haines@parentingplace.nz or 027 327 2314.

Potential participants

Parenting Place and The Salvation Army have developed Breakthrough specifically for fathers, who, despite a history of violence:

  • want to strengthen their relationship with their children and are personally motivated to transform their lives.
  • have already participated in other kaupapa or programmes and are ready and willing to make further changes (i.e. this is not an intervention programme).
  • have a child 9-12 years of age who is willing to participate in a camp/noho marae experience and supported by their mother or primary caregiver to do so.

Please note that there are no participation fees involved with Breakthrough. Partners/wives of men participating in Breakthrough can also be supported to participate in Building Awesome Whānau.

Where is Breakthrough run?

Breakthrough is currently run in Kaitaia, Whangarei, South Auckland, West Auckland, Gisborne, Waitara, Christchurch and Dunedin.

How to get involved

To get involved, contact the current Breakthrough host organisation closest to you.

  • Central Auckland – Parenting Place | 09 524 0025
  • Christchurch: The Salvation Army | 03 366 8128
  • Christchurch: Purapura Whetu Trust | 03 379 8001
  • Christchurch: Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi | 03 352 1057
  • Dunedin – Kokiri Training Centre | 03 455 5725
  • Gisborne – Tauawhi Men’s Centre | 06 868 8278
  • Kaitaia – Rongopai House Community Trust | 09 408 0524
  • Manukau – The Salvation Army | 09 262 2332
  • Waitara – Parenting Place, Karlos Drinkwater | 021 0235 7630
  • West Auckland – Kia Timata Anō Trust | 09 411 9394
  • Whangarei – The Salvation Army | 09 438 8335

Partner organisations

Programme overview

  • Breakthrough privileges a Māori worldview
  • Contributions to the programme design have been made by those with lived experience
  • Breakthrough is carefully informed by recent theory and evidence (both New Zealand and international) on family violence and intervention

What we hope to achieve

To develop stronger families living violence-free we will work with up to 630 families throughout New Zealand over a two year period to achieve the following –

  • For men to mentor other men in an environment where they can retain their mana while having their thinking and behaviour challenged.
  • Strengthen relationships between fathers and their children through parenting and personal insight about their own upbringing.
  • Support the fathers’ journey by working alongside their partners to foster mutual support and shared aspirations for their families.
  • Support father figures (uncles, grandfathers etc.) to have the skills to positively engage with their partners, children and to connect together as a family.
  • Reconnect fathers to positive communities and supports (through social work support systems).
  • Offer opportunities for whānau to engage in a parallel pathway i.e. Building Awesome Whānau.

Our values



To enhance the mana of others. Breakthrough is a strength-based, mana-enhancing kaupapa (initiative).


To protect and promote another’s life essence. Breakthrough upholds the vitality of aroha as a fundamentally transformational force.


Interconnected, reciprocal relationships that contribute to the whole. Breakthrough is an interwoven series of relationships that places fathers and their families at the centre.

Mana motuhake

Self-determination and agency within one’s destiny. Breakthrough recognises the agency of each father participating and each hosting centre to define their own successes in addition to, and perhaps independent of, the project outcomes.


Reciprocal learning. Breakthrough is an opportunity for each stakeholder to learn from each other and build on their knowledge. Therefore, harnessing and honouring the multiple voices involved in this project and sharing the learning will be a key feature of evaluation.


To acknowledge the spiritual existence through and all around us. Breakthrough weaves wairua throughout and is intentional in promoting awareness and experience for all involved.

Media and stakeholders

Our team

  • There are some amazing mentors and facilitators to guide men through their Breakthrough journey. All staff will be supported by organisations with training and supervision.
  • Many facilitators/mentors have been on their own journey of relationship transformation.

For more information, please contact Louise Haines at louise.haines@parentingplace.nz or 027 327 2314.