our history and values bg

Our history and values


Our values

Wingspan provides professional counselling and related services that promote and enhance the safety and well-being of all families and individuals. Our vision is for communities where everyone is thriving, connected, and able to participate.
Collaboration: We partner with tangata whenua and all members of our multicultural society. We are committed to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We will proactively work with other organisations which share our values.
Empowerment: We believe in supporting our people, families/whānau, and individuals including children and youth, so that they may all realise their potential.
Independence: We value independent thought and diversity and ensure that all people’s views are heard and respected. We are an autonomous and secular organisation.
Social justice: We believe in and will advocate for social justice for all, especially children and vulnerable people in our community.
Accessibility: Our services are available to all.

How we have Supported our Community for over 130 Years

Even though our name has changed a few times since 1893 as our services have adapted to meet the needs of our community…our passion and commitment to champion the safety and well-being of Aucklanders has remained constant.


Our founder, Henry Wilding set up ‘The New Zealand Society for the Protection of Women and Children’ on 25 April 1893 to rescue vulnerable women and children from the Auckland streets. Much of the Society’s early focus was on lobbying for legislative change to help women and children who suffered from abandonment, domestic violence, and/or abuse. The Society was instrumental in the ‘Age of Consent’ being raised from 14 to 16 years (1896); the criminalisation of incest to a prosecutable offence (1900), and the establishment of the Youth Court (1925). We even took the SPCA under our wing in 1898 when they were struggling financially – a merger that lasted for 28 years.


Wingspan continues to make a real difference by delivering professional counselling services to reduce risk, increase safety, and improve emotional well-being and resiliency for anyone seeking support.

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  • 1893
  • 1896
  • 1900
  • 1906
  • 1941
  • 1955
  • 1980
  • 1991
  • 2003
  • 2007
  • 2013
  • Today


The New Zealand Society for the Protection of Women and Children is founded, to help mothers and children abused or abandoned by fathers.


The legal age of consent is raised to 16 years - something the Society strongly advocated and agitated for.


The Society successfully lobbies for criminalisation of incest under the Crimes Act.


The government passes the Juvenile Offenders Bill and establishes a specialised children's court, almost entirely due to the lobbying by the Society.


After a decade of lobbying in conjunction with the National Women's Council for women to be included in the New Zealand Police force - the first female police offers are sworn in.


Our work expands to include men and families. As a result, we change our name to the New Zealand Society for the Protection of Home and Family inc.


Our focus on family extends to one-parent and re-parented families. A telephone counselling service is launched.


We became known as Home and Family Society Inc. Our work is mostly counselling, including contracts with Women’s Refuge Centres and the Family Court.


A North Shore office is opened. Youth Programme in Schools commences in association with Child Youth & Family.


We become Home and Family Counselling Inc.


We celebrate 120 years of helping Aucklanders.


We remain committed to serving the Auckland community to ensure counselling is available to everyone. Wingspan is born.


Since 1919, the Governor-General of New Zealand has been our Patron and we are thrilled that this Vice-Regal connection has endured to the present day. Wingspan Trust is advised and governed by a Board of Trustees that gives its time and expertise freely to ensure the well-running of services and activities. Our Board is led by Chair - Alan Brookbanks, an experienced Human Resources Director, and Vice-Chair - Christine Fenby, an independent marketing consultant with key experience in international marketing specialising in the Technology Services sector.


Alan Brookbanks


Christine Fenby


Ian Jagger


Donna Brookbanks

Board Member

Christine Li

Board Member

Michael Gleissner

Board Member

Gabrielle Clezy

Board Member

Kelly Olsen

Chief Executive

Tracey Maxwell

Office and Administration Manager

Our privacy

Our privacy pledge Counselling is based on a confidential relationship. When you use our services, you’re trusting us with your information. We understand this is a big responsibility and will work hard to protect your information. At Wingspan we take the privacy of personal information seriously and comply with the New Zealand Privacy Act 2020 and Health Information Privacy Code 2020. Our Privacy Pledge briefly outlines what you can expect from us. To learn more about our privacy practices view our Privacy Policy.

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