Our history

In 1920 the Auckland community, like so many others, was devastated by the effects of World War 1 and the global Spanish Flu epidemic. The Reverend Jasper Calder saw a need for practical support so established the Auckland City Mission.

Today, the services we offer reflect social changes and individual needs in ways that are relevant today. Our work always comes down to showing care, respect, and providing genuine help to individual people in ways that are right for them.

Our future

As we journey into our next 100 years, the Mission is focused on becoming a true Te Tiriti o Waitangi partner.
Proudly wearing our Māori name, Te Tāpui Atawhai, we are committed to an equitable Aotearoa.
Te Tāpui Atawhai represents the connection that we have across our whānau whānui (wider family), our compassionate approach to care and support. The kupu (word) Tāpui comes from nature – it is a whānau connected to each other – and Atawhai relates to compassion and kindness.
In receipt of the name we are formally a place where two peoples belong and we recognise our place in the restoration needed to move forward as one country of two founding peoples

There are many layers to the Mission’s commitment.

We are improving our services to recognise and practice tikanga (customary practices), so Māori who come to us for support are well respected in a welcoming and familiar environment. One service, Te Whare Hīnātore, is entirely led by kaupapa Māori (Māori approach). Other services incorporate elements of Māori culture, and in our new building HomeGround we have sought the expertise of Ngāti Whātua o Orakei for guidance on many aspects of the building.

The Mission’s Board purposefully has a Māori voice with two of the nine positions currently held by Māori (The Ven Dr Lyndon Drake and Dr Elena Curtis). The knowledge and direction of Drs Drake and Curtis guide the Board on key decisions. In 2021, one decision was to create a position of General Manager Māori to oversee the development of the Mission’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

To bring a greater understanding and involvement in te ao Māori (the Māori world) across the Mission team, all staff are required to attend a nation building course, Te Pumaomao. Everyone is also encouraged to increase their knowledge of te ao Māori, and daily karakia (prayer) and waiata (singing) are held. A rōpū (group) of Māori staff regularly meet to ensure that tikanga is respected and that te ao Māori is celebrated and incorporated throughout the organisation.
As we continue on our journey to becoming a great Te Tiriti o Waitangi partner, we will learn and grow. Our commitment will never waiver.

He waka eke noa.

Building hope

The Mission has been here to support Aucklanders in need for 100 years and we will continue to stand with those people as we move into our next century. This timeline was produced for our centenary year in 2020, and shows some of the changes and challenges Auckland - and the Mission, have faced together.

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