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What we do

True Colours Children’s Health Trust supports Waikato families who have a child with a serious health condition or who are grieving the death of their baby or child. 

From diagnosis, through to cure, bereavement or on-going adjustment to living with a life-limiting illness we are there to support families during the hardest of times.

Our holistic approach to care is based on Dr Mason Durie’s Te whare tapa whā model with a full recognition of the physical, emotional, social and spiritual contexts of health and wellbeing. We understand the far-reaching impact that serious illness  or grief has on the child’s family, friends and community.

Support is available to the whole family, and we work in partnership to provide a tailored service that best meets their needs.  The heart of our work is ‘to keep families standing’, equipping them with strategies to build their resilience and coping skills to help them get through the hard times.

We work closely with other providers and health professionals to provide this wrap around service.  We work with schools and community groups to promote further education and understanding of the many and complex challenges facing children, young people and their families.

Our Mission & Values

We support Waikato families impacted by their child’s serious health condition.
Our vision is that all children with a serious health condition and their families have access to support.

Our Values


Strengthening the family unit during the time of illness.


Providing meaningful engagement with children, their families, whanau, and extended community through focused and committed support.


Delivering the strategies to support children with serious health conditions and their families, every step of the way.


Honouring rights and beliefs, with the highest degree of dignity, equality and trust, and a commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi, recognising the status of Maori as Tangata Whenua.


Connecting families and agencies through professional partnerships


Listening to the voice of the child with open, honest dialogue, in partnership with the families.


Taking responsibility for best practice in both service delivery and fundraising, ensuring transparency and cost effectiveness.

Born of a vision

Adam was a bright articulate 12-year-old boy who I cared for as a hospice nurse, for over 18 months. As his illness progressed and he was at the end stage of his life, I asked him what was important to him. He helped me to rethink my approach to caring for children with seriously complex diseases.  Children are often not consulted about their health conditions, however they often have remarkable insight. I remember Adam telling me “adults talk over me and don’t ask me how I feel about my body, instead they talk to my parents.”

My postgraduate research highlighted what was important to children livingwith a life-threatening illness. After helping to establish Rainbow Place (the first children’s hospice of its kind in New Zealand), it became apparent there was still a gap in services for families who have a child with a serious health condition. Families informed me they required support when their child was first diagnosed and dealing with the huge impact that it had on their lives.  Some of these children did not necessarily require a hospice service however they and their families still needed considerable support. This led me to found True Colours in 2004, with a vision to provide a foundation of support for children with serious illness, their whanau and community during their time of need. “   Cynthia Ward

True Colours does an amazing job. I felt the most alone and afraid I had ever felt when I reached out to them. It was the best decision I made to contact you. You helped me through the hardest time of my life and I couldn’t be more grateful.” True Colours Client

Your Community Trust

True Colours Children’s Health Trust exists thanks to the generosity of our community.  We receive no government funding, 100% of our service is funded by the community.

This is something we never take for granted.

We are truly humbled when people believe in our vision and see the importance of our work, and choose to support us in some way.  Thanks to the generous support from the community, Waikato families have free access to our service when facing the toughest of times.


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