Our PurposeWe look forward to learning together as people take the lead in their own lives, creating new opportunities to participate in community life as they choose.

We are committed to person-centred practice and making the most of community support and the relationships in a person’s life.

We support people to take control of and direct their own lives and the resources that support them.

Our Vision Inclusive Communities

Our Mission: To walk alongside people, creating new opportunities.

We approach our work with understanding and empathy, walking alongside people as they develop and grow. We call our approach Te Kauri.


Our History


Ma te rongo, ka mohio; Ma te mohio; ka marama; Ma te marama, ka matau, Ma te matau ka ora.
Through resonance comes cognisance; through awareness comes understanding; through understanding comes knowledge; through knowledge comes life and well being.

Tautoko Services was formed in January 1996 by a core group of committed people with extensive experience and expertise in disability services and other community services with the support of Ngāti Toa. Ngāti Toa were part of all our planning meetings and when the name of the organisation was discussed “Tautoko” was endorsed as an appropriate title that expressed the nature of the support we intended to provide. The Kauri became the logo which encompassed a joint understanding we had of the role we would play within the community. The concept of being a bicultural organisation was based on the definition “having or combining the cultural attitudes and customs of two nations, peoples, or ethnic groups.”

Tautoko was successful in tendering to set up a support service for people “whose behaviour challenges”, that was independent from ongoing service provision and started delivering that service in August 1996 across the lower North Island and Nelson-Marlborough. For over 18 years Tautoko provided positive behaviour support using essential lifestyle plans, to thousands of young people and their families and to adults living at home and in other disability services and provided training in new ways of supporting people.

When Tautoko and Options started, NZ had several institutions still in existence in which people lived segregated lives. The only community alternatives were group homes or sheltered villages and day services. The Tautoko team was involved in the deinstitutionalisation process of Porirua Hospital, Seaview, Ngawhatu, Braemar and Kimberley and supported many people deemed as challenging into community settings. 

At the same time Options in Community Living was being developed in the late 1980’s in Palmerston North and shared the same principles and recognised the need for innovation in new community alternatives. Options was based on a unique service brokerage pilot, modelled from a Canadian agency that was set up by families who felt the needs and rights of their children were not being met by institutions and traditional service models. Options in Community Living lobbied the government for individualised funding and now thirty years later personal budgets are starting to be made available to individuals and whānau.

In 1997 Tautoko recognised a gap in the Nelson area for a service that supported adults to live in their own homes as an alternative to group homes. This service was called Neighbourhood Connections, a supported living service which spread across Nelson Marlborough. Options and Neighbourhood Connections were involved in the development of the supported living movement across NZ and worked closely together in bringing person-centred approaches into support work.

We have such a rich, unique history, which is made even more special because we are the result of two organisations who started around the same time and voluntarily merged on July 1st, 2014, to become Tautoko-Options. Three years later we started our journey to self-managing.  We have often talked about how both organisations shared similar values, beliefs, and ways of working and that this was why we came together quite seamlessly!


Our Values


Te Kauri
Layer upon layer, the rings of the Kauri represent the age and growth of our experiences.


The Kauri tree is well renowned as a symbol of strength in New Zealand - Aotearoa. The Kauri takes time to grow but with patience it becomes a vital part of the environment. The Kauri is seen as strong. The harder the Kauri fights to stay alive, the stronger it becomes. It grows strong and straight and is not swayed by other things. The Kauri is a native tree, it has deep roots, strong and firm, (like our values).

As an organisation our services are constructed like the layers that make up the Kauri itself. This visual representation of Te Kauri illustrates the five fundamental values from which Tautoko Options Service operates. Our model is called Te Kauri because it reflects what we do, approaching our work with understanding and empathy, by walking alongside people as they develop and grow.


Whakapapa     Whanaungatanga     Manaakitanga     Whakaaroaro   Ahurutanga  


Ma te rongo, ka mohio; Ma te mohio; ka marama;
Ma te marama, ka matau, Ma te matau ka ora.
Through resonance comes cognisance; through awareness comes understanding; through understanding comes knowledge; through knowledge comes life and well being.


Understanding, empathy, to walk alongside


Place layer upon layer

The rings of the Kauri represent the age and growth. The rings also represent our experiences, our stories, our history, who we are, our whakapapa.

The first layer is to learn of people's history and understand how they arrived at the place they are now. We recognise our journeys to be where we are today is important and sharing of our stories enables us to understand, empathise, support, and walk alongside each other in moving forward.

Whakapapa enables us to connect to our past, places and events which have influenced and shaped who we are today. Whakapapa is displayed when we take time to get to know a person, listen to their story, learn their whakapapa.


Foundation     Connections     Relationship     Our Past   Our Present  


Through enquiring of people's dreams and aspirations we gain an understanding of who they are, their knowledge, life experiences, cultural identity, values, and personal beliefs.


Inclusion To bring people together


The Kauri is part of the forest with its own specific role, part of the give and receive cycle. It has a relationship to the broader environment.

We relate this to roles we all have as being part of a community. The Kauri includes all the Ngahere around it offering support and shelter

The second layer is to learn who is important in people's lives, who they relate to, who provides for them, who cares about and supports them.

Whanaungatanga is displayed through our connections to people and our relationship with them. This relates to inclusive practices of providing supports and positive relationships through shared experiences and working together, providing people with a sense of belonging.

Relationship     Support System     Connections     Belonging


Builds on the strengths, abilities and skills of the person and of the people in their lives


The Kauri feeds and beautifies the Ngahere, the birds, and elevates their strengths.

The third layer is to recognise all people have strengths. It also encompasses values of respect, generosity and care of one and other, hospitality and mutual respect.

Manaakitanga is dosplayed by acknowledging Mana, strengths and self-worth of others as having equal or greater importance than one's own, and through supporting the enhancement of people's current abilities and skills and providing opportunities for the development of new abilities.

Self Worth     Respect     Caring     Compassion     Empathy     Nurturing     Generosity


Ponder, give thought, to reflect on


The Kauri is part of a larger eco-system where it can accomodate and support its members and nurture the growth of new seedlings.

The fourth layer of knowledge is reflection and evaluation.

Whakaaroaro is displayed by our careful consideration and reflection which enables us to contemplate and evaluate how we support one another.

Reflect     Consider     Ponder


Creating a safe place to be a part of


The Kauri provides shelter and a safe place to many life forms.

The fifth layer is creating an environment where people feel safe and comfortable. Ahurutanga is an internal and external safe place to be yourself, without interference of your thinking when processing information and decision making.

Ahurutanga is displayed when people feel safe, valued and have choice of where they go and who with.


A Safe Place


A Place where you can express yourself freely without being judged or ridiculed.
A place where you are able to engage in and undertake activities in an ethical and meaningful way.



Contact Us

Tautoko Support Services
Email: info@tautoko.org.nz
Phone: 04 233 0164
Fax: 04 233 0154

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Charitable Trust

Tautoko Services is a Charitable Trust registered with the Charities Commission and our registration number is: CC26019. 

Charities Commission Website

Make a Donation

We depend on the generosity of the public to close the gap between our rising costs and the financial resources available.

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