Whakapapa History

Whakapapa - HistoryAroha Ki Te Tamariki was registered as a Charitable Trust in March 1991.

'The Mirror Project’ established a counselling service for children & young people at risk from family breakdown, alcohol, drugs, abuse and violence and employed one full time counsellor.

Funding came from the Health Funding Authority (HFA), Community Funding Agency, Child Youth & Family and the Department of Justice.

In 1994 and 1997 increasing demand for the service and increases in funding through the HFA and Child Youth & Family Contracting Group allowed for the development of the Service and the new name of Mirror Counselling Service was introduced.

In 1998 the office moved to Evan Parry House and staffing had increased to 6 counsellors and 1 Manager/Counsellor.

Even with these increases in staffing, Mirror was unable to meet the demand and had an extensive waiting list.

An independent review was conducted to reduce the waiting list and as a result a further increase in funding in 2007 allowed 2 intake/brief intervention workers and .5 Māori worker to be employed.

In 2000 the Trust was successful in their bid to set up a day programme for young people with moderate to severe alcohol and drug issues in the Otago and Southland area.

Three full time staff were employed and the Programme started its first intake of young people in March 2001.

The programme is housed in Waitati and  is based on a therapeutic community model.

Mirror Youth Day Programme has additionally developed a kaupapa Māori framework in response to the needs of the client group.

Today Mirror Counselling engages the services of 12 staff and interacts with more the 400 clients and whānau members annually.

The Mirror Youth Day Programme employs 4 staff and while contracted to treat 30 clients annually does in fact help well over 40 young people per year who are suffering from alcohol and drug problems.

Further development occurred with the success of the Primary Level Mental Health Contract, Ministry of Social Development. The Service provides a case management approach to all children in the care of Oranga Tamariki.
With the aim of further developing specialist Youth Alcohol and Other Drug services the Ministry of Health contracted with the Trust and in March 2014 Mirror HQ was established. The aim of the service is to provide coexisting problem (CEP) enhanced alcohol and other drug services for young people aged 12 - 22 years of age. This service is for the Southern District Health Board region.

What Drives Mirror?

Mission Statement

Āwhinatia ngā tamariki me ngā taiohi kia eke rātou ki te taumata o te māramatanga

Support & uplift children and young people so they can ascend to the pinnacle of Wisdom

What Drives Mirror?

The Paramountcy Principle

Mirror Services is committed to the welfare and best interests of children, young people and their whānau.

Aroha Ki Te Tamariki Trust affirms the following:


The Aroha Ki Te Tamariki Trust is committed to delivering services to any child or young person from the age of 0 to 22 years. This may be individual and/or whānau services. Where the services involve Māori the basis of the relationship shall be the Treaty of Waitangi.

Organisation Goals

  1. To provide accessible counselling services that offer children and young people opportunities for growth and development.
  2. To be pro-active in the education of children and young people to assist them to develop and maintain healthy life styles.
  3. To plan and develop effective and appropriate methods for service delivery to meet the current and changing needs of clients.
  4. To actively promote the development of co-ordinated services for children and young people within our communities.
  5. To maintain a sound financial base that meets the needs of the services delivered and the requirements of funding bodies.

Mirror Child Protection Services

Mirror Services Child Protection Policy (PDF)