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A charitable endeavour: Hohepa Canterbury

Hohepa Canterbury is building a new future for those in its care, with a capital fundraising campaign aiming to raise $2.2m for two new purpose-built homes on their main Barrington Street campus.


From left to right: Craig Murphy, Kathryn Jones, Nicky Wright, Joanne Allan, Arnah Trelease, Stephen Parkyn, Selina McRoberts, Mike Freeman, Brent Smith, Paul Rickerby, John Sutherland. Absent from the photo Richard Smith (Trustee of Lamar)


A residential community and learning centre providing education and social therapy for adults with intellectual disabilities, the only South Island branch of the nationwide organisation is a flourishing residential community providing homes, flats, day services and support staffing for 140 people across two main sites in Somerfield and Halswell.

The two new purpose-built homes will support 12 Hohepa community members with not just a physical home, but a safe, supportive, beautiful and peaceful place to settle and grow.

Each four-bedroom dwelling has a fully self-contained two-bedroom flat adjoining it, enabling those who can achieve more independence in a safe and supported way.

The dream project is coming to fruition because of two philanthropic organisations – the Sutherland Self Help Trust and the Lamar Charitable Trust.

The fundraising campaign was launched in October 2019 with a $500,000 donation from the Wellington-based Sutherland Self Help Trust, followed by a second $500,000 donation in July from the Lamar Charitable Trust, a little known but incredibly generous Christchurch-based charitable trust.

Lamar’s chair, and Ainger Tomlin Chartered Accountants Director, Brent Smith, says the trust supports members of our society living with disability to live their most rewarding lives possible within the community.

“We have built a close relationship with Hohepa Canterbury over the years and believe the service they provide is outstanding and worthy of such a significant contribution towards their goal. We are proud to do our part to enable more people and families to benefit from Hohepa’s support in the new homes.”

An on-site Hohepa home already named Lamar House from a previous capital campaign will be renamed Lamb and Marker House, and the newly built second home will be named Lamar House.

Lamb and Marker are the surnames of the two benefactors of the trust, which was established posthumously to support vulnerable people, including those with intellectual disabilities.

Hohepa is halfway to its fundraising goal thanks to other campaign donations and in-kind contributions.

Hohepa Canterbury General Manager Arnah Trelease says: “This campaign is special, there’s something about the nature of the cause that people are responding to and seeing the value in supporting these members of our community to live their best lives.

“These new homes will enable us to welcome 12 more people into our community. We are incredibly grateful for this support of our amazing community.”

She says contributions to the project allow much more than bricks and mortar to be built, it helps build lives by valuing individuality and celebrating what each person brings to the community.



Learn more about the project and how you can help by contacting Arnah Trelease on 027 801 9034 or via


New homes for local charity

If you’ve visited South Christchurch Library recently, you might have bumped into go-getter Anna Freeman.



Nearly every Saturday she can be found there sharing one of her greatest loves with others: reading. Anna is your everyday spirited 25-year-old with a penchant for languages, music, choir and yoga. She also has an intellectual disability and has been living at Hohepa Canterbury, a Christchurch-based intellectual disability support provider, since 2014. “It’s a lovely home; the best,” she says. “Now that I am here I have been learning to make more decisions and I feel comfortable.”

Like any other person in their mid-20s, Anna likes spending time with others and she loves flatting with three of her friends at Hohepa Canterbury’s campus on Barrington Street.

Hohepa Canterbury supports 125 people, like Anna, with intellectual disabilities. Hohepa is on a mission to provide more homes for people like Anna to be part of a supportive community and enjoy a life fully lived.

Hohepa Canterbury has just launched a campaign to raise $2.2m for two new fit-for-purpose houses, which will provide a home for 12 people with intellectual disabilities, kick-started by a $500,000 donation from the Sutherland Self Help Trust.

The trust has been providing financial support to community organisations which support the disabled and disadvantaged since 1962, and it has been a long-term supporter of Hohepa. As a result, one of the two new buildings will be named Sutherland House.

Sutherland Self Help Trust Board Chair John Sutherland says the gift has been given after a long history of past support and connection between the organisations, which both began in the 1960s, and through their shared mission of supporting people living with disabilities.

“Anytime that I visit Hohepa, it is a joy to do so,” he says. “The calmness, friendliness and happiness of all the people, both residents and staff, is always great to experience.”

Hohepa has been working alongside families of the people they support with intellectual disability for over 50 years, embracing mind, body and soul to care for the whole person, not just deliver a system of care. Their philosophy is based on Anthroposophy; ‘the wisdom of the human’, which is the driving force behind their unique holistic approach.

For people like Anna, the support they receive is vitally important to allow them to flourish and reach their potential. The two new homes have been carefully designed through consultation with the Hohepa community and will be beautiful buildings inside and out.

Hohepa Canterbury General Manager Arnah Trelease has been working in the disability sector for more than 20 years and says she sees the impact of Hohepa’s unique ethos on a daily basis. “There is a huge demand for a home with us at Hohepa – currently there are over 50 people on our waitlist. “Hohepa does things differently and families want to make sure their loved one will thrive and fully enjoy life; our supportive community environment enables that to happen.”

The fundraising campaign aims to generate all funds for this project by early 2021 and the buildings built and occupied later that year.