About US

Everyone has the potential to contribute to a brighter future for New Zealand. For some, intervention is a chance at reinvention.

Great Potentials Foundation works in low-income New Zealand communities, helping to unleash the potential of children, young people and families through education and parental support.

Great Potentials operates three life-changing programmes:

  1. Family Service Centres – hubs providing integrated health, education and social services to individuals and families in low-income communities

  2. HIPPY (Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters) – preparing 3-5 year old children for the transition to school, while giving parents the skills and confidence to engage in their children’s learning and go on to further education and employment

  3. MATES (Mentoring and Tutoring Education Scheme) - improving confidence and educational outcomes of low-decile school students by pairing them with tertiary student mentor/tutors with whom they meet once a week, every week, throughout the academic year.

Great Potentials helps over 5,000 children, young people and families across New Zealand each year.


For 25 years we have worked to help children, young people and families to flourish. We are recognized as one of New Zealand’s leading agencies of social enterprise and innovation. In 1992, Great Potentials Foundation created the Family Service Centre model, then introduced HIPPY- Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters, now established in 44 communities. We introduced MATES – Mentoring and Tutoring Education Scheme, and the Foundation has successfully advocated for the introduction of Family Start.


Our vision is well-nurtured children within well-functioning families, contributing to safe communities and a prosperous nation.


Our mission is to work for and with children, young people and families to:

·   Promote family functioning
·   Relieve suffering
·   Release potential
·   Reduce disparities in NZ society
·   Reduce crime and violence
·   Break the cycle of disadvantage

Our programmes and services work at critical points of transition:

· transition into conscious parenthood (Family Service Centres)
· transition into primary school (HIPPY)
· transition from intermediate to secondary school (MATES Junior)
· transition from secondary school to tertiary education (MATES Senior)