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Our People | Helping Courage Shine Through

True Colours aims to provide a “gold level standard of care” and this is reflected in the dedication and skill of our professional team. We work closely together to ensure the families True Colours support, get personalised care to meet their individual needs.

Cynthia Ward

Stephen Parkinson

Indigo Simblett

Heidi Gleeson

Helen Funnell

Rosalind Arnott

Renee Ward

Renee Streatfield

Jo Stolzenberg

Ziski Poschl

Clare Barnett

Ruth Kendall

He aha te mea nui o te ao.
What is the most important thing in the world?  

He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.
It is people, it is people, it is people

Our Patrons

We are thankful to have NZ music legends Neil and Tim Finn as our patrons. They have been with True Colours since it’s inception, and remain loyal supporters of our organisation.

“I am proud and privileged to have been a patron of True Colours since its inception. I believe very strongly in the work that Cynthia Ward and the other wonderful members of staff have been doing in the community, counselling and caring for the wellbeing of families and in particular children facing serious illness and bereavement. I have had the chance to hear first-hand from the children and their families what huge comfort and support True Colours can offer through times of great stress and trauma. Cynthia and the team enjoy the full respect and support of children’s medical practitioners in the Waikato because they have a unique perspective. True Colours continues to be a proven and valuable presence in the community. Long may they run.” – Neil Finn

“Our family has a very strong bond to this day with Cynthia Ward as she cared for Mum when she was dying. Cynthia helped us all immensely through this very difficult time. She was able to tune in to each of us, and say and do exactly the right things. We all felt that Mum had the carer she deserved, having lived a good life herself.  Cynthia has a special sensitivity which makes her uniquely able to work with sick and dying children and their families. There can be nothing harder than watching your own child struggle with a serious disease. The families who turn to True Colours are putting themselves in the hands of someone who truly cares.” – Tim Finn

Our Board of Trustees | We Listen and We Respond

True Colours Children’s Health Trust has always been incredibly fortunate in the calibre of its Board members. No Trust can operate successfully without wisdom, integrity and vision and our Trustees have demonstrated those qualities time and time again in their decision-making. All share the common goal of enhancing the lives of children with serious illness and their families in their time of need.


Wayne Panapa
QSM, Police Sergeant, National Maori Warden Project Trainer, based at Police National Headquarters, Wellington

Wayne has been a serving member of the NZ Police with 40 years’ service, he is of Tainui and Ngati Whatua tribal descent and is married with two adult children.

“Although the threads of the needle, maybe of multiplicity of colours the red, the white and the black, there is only but one eye of the needle that the different threads may pass through. Hold fast to the Lord, be united and hold fast to the Faith,” King Tawhiao.

Trust Board

Leean Bedwell

Sarah Rawcliffe

Sandra Braithwaite

Parent Representative
Paul Grant

Medical Representative
Dr Fraser Maxwell

Medical Representative
Dr Suniti Bisht

Past Trustees

Ngaire Coddington
Chris Cowley
Dr David Graham
Claire Grant
Dr Noel Manikkam
Wayne Panapa
Annah Stretton
Joanne Watson
Trish Wright
Louise Dobson
Jacqui Gage-Brown
Dr Phil Weston

Leean Bedwell

Sarah Rawcliffe

Sandra Braithwaite

Paul Grant

Dr Fraser Maxwell

Dr Suniti Bisht

With a little help from our Friends

The wonderfully energetic and enterprising Friends of True Colours (FOTC) help us to raise valuable funds through fundraising efforts. They are an important part of our extended team here at True Colours. Our annual Long Lunch event (held on Melbourne Cup Day) is now the most prominent of the Friends’ fundraising events. There are also a number of smaller events held throughout the year.

We welcome you to join our Friends of True Colours and help us to make a difference to Waikato families during their time of need.


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