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Talk to Us: 0800 326 327
Talk to Us: 09 836 1987 / 0800 326 327 Monday to Friday 8.30 to 5.00
Whanau Toa- Strong flourishing families
Safety Recovery Renewal





  • Whanaungatanga- Relationships and connection
  • Manaakitanga- Care, hospitality
  • Tino ranitirotanga- self determination
  • Awhi- embracing and supporting
  • Wairua- spirituality, connection with the environment
  • Mauri- Energy and ethos of the place or person
  • Tika- The right way to do things
  • Pono- Truth and honesty
  • Aroha- Love and Respect
  • Mana- Esteem
  • Maramatanga- Clear understanding
  • Best Practise- Client/family/whanau centred



Family Action was formed following a 2 year collaboration project between Waitakere Abuse and Trauma Counselling Service (WATCS), Western Refuge (WRS) and ManAlive. At the beginning of 2012 it was decided that WATCS and WRS should merge and in 2016 they were joined by Changeworks Inc.

WATCS was formed in 1989 following a community initiative to produce a resource for children who had been sexually abused in West Auckland. Over time services expanded to include women, children and families who had experienced domestic violence, abuse and trauma. Recent developments include a contract for sexual violence from MSD and a sensitive claims contract with ACC.

WRS began 30 years ago and provided refuge housing, outreach and advocacy was added approximately 15 years ago and represented the larger portion of the WRS services. WRS has provided a court advocacy service for victims of family violence inside the family violence court for the last 10 years and is the only external NGO victim service inside a court in New Zealand.

Changeworks was formed in 2006 by Steve Deakin and Ron Hepworth with the intention of creating an agency to provide programmes to help young men and women to develop skilled long term positive relationships within their community, their families and themselves. Their work included school programmes and working with youth justice.

What we do?


Family Action provides counselling for those affected by family and sexual violence, abuse, or trauma. You and your family’s needs are our primary concern. We have an open referrals system. You are welcome to call our client liaison staff, who can discuss your needs with you. We offer :

  • Counselling
  • Expressive therapies
  • Family work
  • Ministry of Justice funded Family Violence programmes
  • Crisis Support
  • Psychology
  • Psychotherapy
  • Child Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Groups
  • ACC sensitive claims counselling (in the West Auckland, North Shore, Central Auckland and Waiheke areas)

We offer groups for women who wish to move away from the cycle of violence, “Women in Action – Wahine Toa” , for youth and children who have experience or witnessed abuse, “Youth in Action – Rangitahi Toa” and “Children in Action – Tamariki Toa”.

We offer a safe, confidential and empowering service. Our professional team are all qualified counsellors, psychotherapists, art therapists and psychologists. We are approved by ACC, Ministry of Justice and CYF. We are partly funded by the government and any additional costs are negotiable.


Family Action Outreach and Refuge supports all people in crisis who are experiencing family violence. Family Action provides a caring and confidential place where you can talk about issues in your relationship and the violence or abuse that you are experience or have experienced. No appointment needed.

Your needs and wishes will always be respected by us. The care and safety of you and your children is our priority.

We can provide:

  • A safe place where you can explore your options
  • Refuge (also for those outside of West Auckland)
  • Safety plans and options
  • Crisis counselling and intervention services
  • Information about protection and custody issues
  • Support with your Victim Impact Statement
  • Court Advocacy
  • Referral to relevant services
  • Ongoing support
  • Telephone support and advice

Who we are?

Our clinical team of staff are made up of qualified and experienced social workers, psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists and art therapists. They are skilled in working to help adults, youth, children and families who have experienced domestic or sexual violence. They are assisted by our administration team who will help clients to access the right services.

CEO-Michelle has 25 years’ experience in the health and social service sector as a practitioner and in management.

She is passionate about making sure that clients get the very best service and are able to make the most of opportunities that become available to gain healthy rewarding and safe lives.  Family Action encourages people, children, families and young people to achieve their potential and Michelle is proud to be a part of that work.

The agency is supported by a skilled and passionate governance committee. Their role is to ensure that the charity complies with all of its legal and regulatory requirements and that the charities governance is of the highest possible standard.  The committee includes, Councillor Linda Cooper, Verle Cahill, John Ballard, Hinemoa Key, Jo Silcock, Rachel Morriss- Jarvis.