Caring For Children’s Wellbeing  |  Te Oranga O Nga Tamariki

Underpinning all of our services is a set of values that lie at the heart of everything we do. We can sum them up as a list – resilience, support, education, respect, collaboration, communication, accountability – but their meaning for us and for the  children, and young people with complex health conditions and their families goes well beyond mere words. Combine them with a model of care that covers physical, emotional, social and spiritual dimensions and the unique approach of True Colours soon becomes apparent.

True Colours’ services are:

  • Free
  • 24/7 during times of crisis
  • Responsive to referrals (within 24 hours)
  • Available to children and young people from birth to 18 years
  • Accessible to both rural and urban families within the greater Waikato region
  • Sensitive to the emotional needs of both patients and their families
  • Focused on building partnerships of care with children with serious illness and their families, and working collaboratively with other health professionals

Through True Colours, you’ll have access to counselling, nursing care and education. We provide opportunities for creative therapy through music, art and play. And there are workshops, presentations and support groups facilitated by our staff. Moreover, each patient and his or her family have a key worker dedicated to ensuring their needs are met.


Living with complex health conditions is not just physically painful: it is also stressful, emotionally draining and nothing short of traumatic at times for all concerned. Children and young people affected by chronic, life-limiting or life-threatening illness face challenges different from anything experienced by their peers. Their siblings and families are deeply affected too. That’s why ‘psychosocial’ counselling is so important. Our skilled staff help to build personal and family resilience and enable fears, anxieties and tensions to be addressed in a safe and supportive way.

True Colours counselling service includes:

  • Counselling for children/young people, siblings, parents, grandparents and whánau
  • A range of therapeutic modalities such as play therapy and art therapy
  • Bereavement support to family inclusive of siblings and friends


Download the True Colours Referral Form (1mb pdf file)

Nurse Care

True Colours wants  children and young people with complex health conditions to have the highest attainable standard of care and we seek to deliver that in partnership with their families. We can give specialist clinical and emotional support from the time of diagnosis and do so at home, in hospital or at True Colours House. In times of crisis, our nurse specialist is available 24/7. When you need us, we’ll be there.

True Colours nurse care service includes:

  • Care for children and young people with serious, chronic or life limiting illness from birth to 18 years of age
  • Support for the families of the child/young person with serious illness
  • Support at home, in hospital or at True Colours
  • Specialist clinical and emotional support from the time of diagnosis
  • Collaborative relationships with other health providers


True Colours has always known how important it is to help  children with serious illness and their families access the knowledge and support needed to function on a day-to-day basis. We deliver those tools; we also act as advocates and facilitators, working on behalf of the children and their families and connecting families with the agencies and health professionals who can play a vital role in each child’s care. You’re not on your own.

True Colours education service includes:

  • Collegial support to other health professionals who work with children and young people requiring specialist care;
  • Education and support to schools where there are links with children and young people who live with complex health needs
  • Professional development training for health professionals who work with children with complex health situations

Annah Stretton House

The True Colours House was purchased by New Zealand fashion designer and philanthropist Annah Stretton in 2005.  At close proximity to the Waikato Hopsital, it provides our team with facilities for counselling and creative therapies.

Children, their siblings and family often meet at the house for workshops and support group meetings.  The rooms have been designed to allow for creative therapy treatments, such as our music and sandtray room, or for a bit of quiet time in a relaxed, welcoming and warm environment.