Breakthrough | The Salvation Army

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Breakthrough - a life-changing programme for fathers and their children
Posted May 8, 2018

About Breakthrough

Breakthrough is a life-changing programme for fathers and their tamariki. The heart of Breakthrough is that all children in Aotearoa would grow up knowing they are loved, safe and supported by their families/whānau to dream and explore their potential.

Parenting Place and The Salvation Army have developed Breakthrough specifically for fathers who don’t yet have this reality with their children. Our dream is to help deepen their insight and develop the skills necessary so they are empowered to transform their own lives and those of their families/whānau.

Who we are

Parenting Place and The Salvation Army are working in partnership – pooling resources, connections and experiences to achieve enduring positive change in Aotearoa. The Warehouse Group and their suppliers have generously provided funding to design and deliver Breakthrough – a life-changing programme for fathers and their tamariki over a two year period. Research for and evaluation of Breakthrough is being led by Dr. Myron Friesen from the University of Canterbury.

Programme components

Over about four months, facilitators will weave together the four key components of the programme.

  1. Parenting support – Eight Building Awesome Matua group sessions (over eight weeks or a weekend wānanga).
  2. Mentoring – 14 weeks of follow up mentoring and practical support to embed new concepts into everyday life and find solutions to issues that might come up.
  3. Outdoor experience – A two-day noho marae or group outdoor adventure experience for the fathers and one of their children (aged 9 to 12) to enhance relationships.
  4. Graduation/haakari for fathers, their whānau, facilitators and centres to celebrate their successes and journey together.

More information

Find out more information on potential participantspartner organisations and media and stakeholders or contact Te Karere Scarborough at or on 021 334 339.

Potential participants

Parenting Place and The Salvation Army have developed Breakthrough specifically for fathers, who, despite a history of violence:

  • want to strengthen their relationship with their children and are personally motivated to transform their lives.
  • have already participated in other kaupapa or programmes and are ready and willing to make further changes (i.e. this is not an intervention programme).
  • have a child 9-12 years of age who is willing to participate in a camp/noho marae experience and supported by their mother or primary caregiver to do so.

Please note that there are no participation fees involved with Breakthrough. Partners/wives of men participating in Breakthrough can also be supported to participate in Building Awesome Whānau.

Where is Breakthrough run?

Breakthrough is currently run in Whangarei, South Auckland, West Auckland, Central Auckland, Gisborne, Waitara and Dunedin and we will be expanding to further locations in 2019.

How to get involved

To get involved, get in touch with the current Breakthrough host organisation closest to you.

  • Whangarei – Salvation Army | 09 438 8335
  • Central Auckland – Parenting Place | 09 524 0025
  • West Auckland – Salvation Army | 09 837 4471
  • Manukau – Salvation Army | 09 262 2332
  • South Auckland – Genesis Youth Trust | 09 275 0599
  • Waitara – Parenting Place, Karlos Drinkwater | 021 0235 7630
  • Gisborne – Tauawhi Men’s Centre | 06 868 8278
  • Dunedin – Kokiri Training Centre | 03 455 5725

Partner organisations

Programme overview

  • Breakthrough privileges a Māori worldview
  • Contributions to the programme design have been made by those with lived experience
  • Breakthrough is carefully informed by recent theory and evidence (both New Zealand and international) on family violence and intervention

What we hope to achieve

To develop stronger families living violence-free we will work with up to 630 families throughout New Zealand over a two year period to achieve the following –

  • For men to mentor other men in an environment where they can retain their mana while having their thinking and behaviour challenged.
  • Strengthen relationships between fathers and their children through parenting and personal insight about their own upbringing.
  • Support the fathers’ journey by working alongside their partners to foster mutual support and shared aspirations for their families.
  • Support father figures (uncles, grandfathers etc.) to have the skills to positively engage with their partners, children and to connect together as a family.
  • Reconnect fathers to positive communities and supports (through social work support systems).
  • Offer opportunities for whānau to engage in a parallel pathway i.e. Building Awesome Whānau.

Our values


To enhance the mana of others. Breakthrough is a strength-based, mana-enhancing kaupapa (initiative).


To protect and promote another’s life essence. Breakthrough upholds the vitality of aroha as a fundamentally transformational force.


Interconnected, reciprocal relationships that contribute to the whole. Breakthrough is an interwoven series of relationships that places fathers and their families at the centre.

Mana motuhake

Self-determination and agency within one’s destiny. Breakthrough recognises the agency of each father participating and each hosting centre to define their own successes in addition to, and perhaps independent of, the project outcomes.


Reciprocal learning. Breakthrough is an opportunity for each stakeholder to learn from each other and build on their knowledge. Therefore, harnessing and honouring the multiple voices involved in this project and sharing the learning will be a key feature of evaluation.


To acknowledge the spiritual existence through and all around us. Breakthrough weaves wairua throughout and is intentional in promoting awareness and experience for all involved.

Media and stakeholders

Our team

  • There are some amazing mentors and facilitators to guide men through their Breakthrough journey. All staff will be supported by organisations with training and supervision.
  • Many facilitators/mentors have been on their own journey of relationship transformation.

Newsletters, media pack and articles/videos

Read our first newsletter here.

For more information, please contact Te Karere Scarborough at or on 027 327 2314.