Budgeting | Life Skills | Sustaining Tenancies | Strengthening Families


Accessing the right support, knowledge and tools at the right time helps people in hardship to get on the right path and keep moving forward. We see positive results when people feel empowered to make long-term sustainable change.

Contact our Social Services Team to start the journey for you or someone you know.


Our budgeting service connects with people experiencing financial hardship. Based on the guiding principles of ‘building financial capability’ clients are supported and empowered to set goals and create a financial plan of action that meets their needs and sustains their progress.

A range of budgeting services is available –

  • One-to-one budgeting: regular budgeting sessions at the client’s home or in the Connecting Commnunitie’s offices in Masterton or Featherston.
  • Intensive budgeting: advocacy and support to build clients’ confidence and skills to develop a budget that meets their needs.
  • Money-mates workshops: ideal for groups. Our facilitators educate and guide people in group settings to identify their financial goals and build their skills to create a budgeting plan to reach them.

These budgeting services are delivered through Connecting Communities Wairarapa and have been developed by the Ministry of Social Development.

To find out more about budgeting mentors or the budgeting service contact:

Debbie Malneek, Social Services Team Leader

P: 06 377 3115
M: 027 883 6036

Life Skills

Our life skills programmes  is available Wairarapa-wide to people wanting support and keen to learn new skills to manage their daily lives, ultimately improving their health and wellbeing.

Some of the life skills services and workshops include:

  • Cooking and shopping on a budget – planning and preparing nutritious meals, creating healthy lunchboxes
  • Household management – developing a cleaning routine, DIY repairs, smart storage solutions

We call these ‘Life Skills’ because if you know how to do all of these things really well, life is a whole lot easier.

Because one size doesn’t fit all, our life skills service is adaptable to meet your needs. We can work with you to grow the skills you want to learn.

To become a lifeskills mentor or to find out more about using the service please contact:

Debbie Malneek, Social Services Team Leader

P: 06 377 3115
M: 027 883 6036

Strengthening Families Wairarapa

Strengthening Families is a whanau-led, structured, collaborative process.  At the heart of the process is a whanau with strengths but one that is also having trouble coping with life’s challenges and requires help from multiple agencies. Strengthening Families processes are led by the whanau, and brings together all the agencies that have a part to play in helping that whanau achieve its desired outcomes with an experienced facilitator. The health, education and social outcomes for children, young people and their whanau are improved through the Strengthening Families process. They feel stronger, more connected to and supported by their community.

Te Wharau Manaaki has been developed by Wairarapa Strengthening Families and aims to offer a greater level of support to professionals engaged with these families. The model provides for a professional’s panel who can provide a consult process to whanau in the strengthening families process, where there are barriers to meeting needs. Te Wharau Manaaki – the panel has representatives from MOE Education, Police, Work & Income, MVCOT, CAMHS, Health & Disability, School Principal Assn and both Iwi.

To find out more or to make a referral, contact:

Esmae Laird, Strengthening Families Coordinator

P: 06 378 8900
M: 027 344 4003

For more information:


Please click here for the Connecting Communities Wairarapa Child Protection Policy