The Awhina Society Incorporated is governed by a governance committee elected from members of the society. There is a constitution setting out the rules of the society. Membership of the governance committee is unpaid. The governance committee meets on a monthly basis to oversee the strategic direction of the society. An annual general meeting (AGM) is held each September. At the AGM position holders within the governance committee are elected. Those positions are; Chairperson, Secretary, Committee Member(s). The governance committee consists of no fewer than 4 and no more than 12 members.

This group also oversees the budget and authorizes the monthly accounts.
Äwhina Society Incorporated employs staff to deliver the core business of the society. one full time Society Coordinator, one fulltime Food bank coordinator, one full time Refuge assistant coordinator and one part time financial administrator


In 1977, the Taupō Baptist Church, the Inter Church Welfare Society and the Taupō District Council created the Awhina Society Incorporated. At this time the purpose of the Awhina Society Inc. was to provide emergency accommodation to families and individuals and to assist people in finding permanent accommodation.

In 1979, the Awhina Society Inc. ran 13 Emergency Houses. However due to changes in government policy it was no longer viable to continue this service. Through the experience with the first Emergency Accommodation house and the subsequent 13 Emergency houses it became apparent that a large number of Women and children whom had experienced violence and abuse in their relationships were seeking assistance from the Awhina Society Inc. As a result of this emerging need the Awhina Society Inc. created the Taupō Women’s Refuge.

In 1991, in response to a request by the Taupō Council of Social Services, the Awhina Society Inc. began to manage the Taupō Community Food bank.

In 1992 the Awhina Society Inc. provided accommodation to single people whom had nowhere else to live or for some reason could not live independently in the ‘Awhina House Hostel’. In 2007 ‘Awhina House’ was sold. The Awhina Society Inc. manages the income from this sale for future initiatives relating to affordable housing in Taupō.

Today the services offered by the Awhina Society Incorporated are the Taupō Women’s Refuge and the Taupō community Food bank. The Awhina Society has seen many changes throughout the years and has developed services for the Taupō community in response to community requests and the needs apparent in our community. Today the focus of the Awhina Society is to offer a caring helping hand by promoting Women and children to live free from violence and also to reduce the effects of poverty on families and individuals.


John Pendergrast Chairperson
Kathy Wiltshire Secretary
Angela Giddy Treasurer
Eileen Devane Committee member
Kevin Taylor Committee member
Allan Humphries Committee member


Help us help our community. Every little bit helps.


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