Fulfilled lives, connected communities

ACW’s social services were originally founded by parishes in Waiapu with the support of their local communities, the Government, and funding agencies. Today, as the social services arm of the Anglican Diocese of Waiapu, we continue to build on their legacy to support the vulnerable and isolated.

  • Our family services provide social work, counselling, budgeting, and other support services to support tamariki and their families to thrive.
  • We have six early childhood education centres and two after-school programmes. Our three Whānau Aroha centres also provide family support services for whānau and tamariki.
  • Our day centres for older people provide a space for people to socialise, take part in exercise, enjoy meals together, and engage in stimulating activities.
  • Our Growing Through Grief programme delivers the Seasons for Growth® programme, which provides facilitated peer-support groups for children, young people, and adults who are experiencing change, grief and loss in their lives.

Our History

Our social service roots were planted in 1835 when the earliest Anglican Mission was established in Te Papa in Bay of Plenty by the Church Missionary Society. Over the following decades the missions grew their ministry around the Waiapu region. Missions were set up in Opotiki in 1839, along the East Cape throughout the 1840s, in Wairoa in 1844, and in Waitangi (near Clive) in 1844. The stations supported local education by establishing schools, developed agricultural capability by introducing new crops and growing techniques, and spread the Gospel.

In 1858 the Diocese of Waiapu was formed.

Throughout the Diocese’s history, Waiapu parishes have responded to the many different needs that have arisen in their communities. This has meant the types of services changed over time in response to changing the needs in Waiapu, as well as wider economic and social changes.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, parishes recognised the need for support for young women and unmarried mothers, and housing for children. The Girls’ Friendly Society (GFS) was established in 1902 to provide education, help, and guidance for young women and unmarried mothers. St Mary’s Receiving Home was opened in 1915 to accommodate unmarried mothers before and after the birth of their babies, housing their children up until they were four years old.

Children’s homes were set up in the early 1900s in Central Hawke’s Bay to meet the needs of Hawke’s Bay children, including orphans and children whose families couldn’t afford to house them. Previously, these children had been sent away to institutions in other parts of Aotearoa New Zealand. St Hilda’s Orphanage in Otane and Abbotsford Home in Waipawa were set up in the early twentieth century to house children aged four to fifteen, and operated until the mid-1900s.

In the middle to late twentieth century, parishes recognised and acted on the need for residential services for the elderly and early childhood education services in centres including Napier, Tauranga, Gisborne and Rotorua.

The Waiapu Anglican Social Services Trust Board was set up in 1991 to provide professional oversight of the social services operating at the time. In 1997 Anglican Care Waiapu Limited was established as the legal entity to own and operate the residential aged care services.

In 2017, ACW sold its retirement villages and rest homes. Today, ACW operates numerous services and programmes in Waiapu and is actively exploring partnerships and new ways of bringing about transformation in the community.