Thank you Brian Roche

Congratulations to Brian Roche who was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM) in the New Years Honours list.

Brian Roche, his wife Maree and children have supported Challenge 2000’s work in a myriad of ways since we began in 1988. Brian has been a Board member, financial adviser, donor and both he and Maree have sponsored many young people over the years who succeeded, because of the Roche’s commitment and concern. So many times over the years the Roche’s have said YES and responded to little and big requests with generosity, humility and patience.

So all the whanau at Challenge 2000 wish Sir Brian and Lady Roche all the best and take this opportunity to publicly recognise their hidden and unknown roles as committed, serving citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand. Thanks and we have lots of jobs still where you can make a difference!!

Challenge 2000 in Kaikoura

Challenge 2000, Tai O Marakura, Sports Tasman, Presbyterian Church and Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington – Kaikoura Partnership

As a response to the Kaikoura/Marlborough earthquakes, the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington provided an invitation and funding for Challenge 2000 to work on a project in partnership with Kaikoura based youth agencies Te Tai O Marakura, Sports Tasman and the Council/Presbyterian Church to support local young people during the holidays.

8 Challenge 2000 staff and youth leaders have designed a programme for the week of 16th January 2017 – 21st January 2017 after consultation with locals.  The team led by Steve O’Connor and Viv Campbell are really excited about this opportunity to support other youth workers and young people and to share and gain knowledge, skills and understanding with those affected by the ongoing stress of the recent earthquakes.

January 20th 2017 UPDATE

Our youth team are absolutely loving being down on the mainland.

More than 60 children & young people have attended the programme every day and have participated 150%. Our youth workers are inspired by the hospitality, friendliness and commitment of the locals they are working with. What an amazing community!

Watch this space for more news about Kaikoura and our future partnership with these wonderful people.



Meri Kirihimete from Challenge 2000

The staff at Challenge 2000 wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a restful New Year!!

Lots and lots of gratitude to all the people who have supported our work.  Without your generous donations, voluntary hours, positive messages, awhi, prayers, wisdom, expertise and many different kindnesses we could not do what we do.  For all the people we have worked alongside – it has been a real privilege and together we have learnt lots and grown much.

Christmas is a time that brings out the best in people.  We naturally seek to share what we have and make an effort to improve the lives of others.  It can also be a time of real stress and pressure when obstacles seem to become insurmountable and relationships fracture and crack.

Please, everyone, look after yourselfs and each other.   Be safe. Be positive. Choose to do the right thing as if the person you most admire is standing right behind you.

Drive carefully, think clearly and love generously!

St. Benedict’s Retreat

In November, Year 7 students of St Benedict’s had a retreat day facilitated by Challenge 2000, in preparation for their role as leaders in 2017.


The day with a prayer and a song about social justice, before warming up with icebreakers. The theme of leadership was exp[lored, and the Challenge staff talked about people who are leaders in their lives. The students then broke up into small groups to brainstorm about what it means to be a leader, and what makes Jesus the model leader. The major themes of service, care and compassion came through strongly.


The students then had an opportunity to put this theory into practice with team activities, and we all quickly realised that this stuff is easier said than done! Communication was seen to be the key, and listening as one of the key components to this!  After a full-on day of discussion and activities we wound down with a reflection exercise and a liturgy, and we referred to the fact that “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate [but] that we are powerful beyond measure”.

The students left inspired and energised to lead their school in a compassionate and considered Christian way in the year ahead. We look forward to watching their progress and success!


Being a Year 12 student, I’ve had my fair share of retreats, many being run by Challenge 2000.  To help out at the St Benedict’s transition day, as part of an amazing Challenge team, was awesome.  It gave me the opportunity to be on the other side of my usual position in retreats.  Instead of being a keen student to learn, I had to be a keen “teacher” to the Year 7s, and help them to become the best leaders they can possibly be!

Throughout the day, the Year 7s were able to find out more about themselves, what is needed to work better as a team, and, ultimately, what is needed to become better leaders.  Different activities stretched their minds, forcing them to think as leaders in what they did and what they could have done to have smoother experiences in each activity.

As a student who has experienced these activities in the past, it was amazing to see how these Year 7s mirror so much of what I would have been like when I was a Year 7 (a bit frustrated at times, but always keen for activities and challenges), and it was my privilege to be in a position to help shape each of the student’s characters.  It was awesome to see the Year 7s grow and learn so much by the end of the day, and I am excited to see what they become in the future.

Ren-C Tamayo

Youth Together – Ngatahi fakataha Tupu

60 young people, youth volunteers and Challenge staff and whanau were involved in the Johnsonville Christmas Parade.

Designing, building, painting, decorating and working out plans together drew the whanau together.

The actual day of the Parade – the sun shone, the whanau sang, the children waved and smiled, the crowds waved, the flag bearers marched, the rangitahi distributed lollies, bubbles were blown and all the hard mahi was celebrated.

A great occasion and lots of fun!!!!!

Visit by Fr Larry Duffy from the Society of Mary

Father Larry Duffy, an Irish Marist, based in Rome on the Society of Mary International Leadership team visited Challenge 2000 this week.

After a powhiri and hakari he met with staff to hear about how things are for young people in Aotearoa New Zealand today and how Challenge 2000 meets the needs of our young people and their families.


Later in the day, Father Larry visited the Marist Challenge Youth houses and heard about this partnership and how it has changed lives.  There was a strong spirit of hospitality, generosity, simplicity, mission, love and service.

Jacob and Chris shared their reflections on their connection with the Marists and Te Po, Heath, Daniel, Kirsty, Nicole, Therese, John, Keeley and others spoke of the growth and achievement in their lives.

A great night and BBQ!

Congratulations Judge Sainsbury

Kitty McKinley and Challenge 2000 are very happy to congratulate Noel Sainsbury on his recent appointment to the bench as a District Court judge in Manukau.

We acknowledge the significant asset that Judge Sainsbury will be to the bench, to the parties whose matters he will be adjudicating, and to the wider community as a committed and compassionate arbiter of justice. At the same time, however, we regret the loss of a generous and competent advocate who has often represented our young people free-of-charge. Of course, this itself reflects the passion for people and social justice that makes Judge Sainsbury’s appointment such welcome news.

In the course of his address to the bench, the Attorney-General, colleagues in law, family, friends and the public gallery, Judge Sainsbury spoke of his career in law as a vocation, and his upcoming service on the bench as a further expression of this vocation.

He also spoke of the “real heroes” who not only support people in the court and criminal system but take significant steps to prevent those people from having to return. He singled out Kitty McKinley as one of these heroes and thanked her for being there at his ceremony. He also singled out Challenge 2000 and WellStop for the work these agencies do in that regard.

We thank Noel for his kind words and service, we congratulate him again on his appointment, and we wish him all the very best for his future on the bench.

Daniel Kleinsman

Exciting News!!!!!

Challenge 2000 and TSA’s Wellington Youth Services have formalised their working relationship by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of achieving better outcomes for young people.

Under the agreement, Challenge 2000 will take responsibility for Sanctuary House, a transitional home for young women, previously run by Wellington Youth Services. ‘We have been looking at how we can continue to ensure there is a safe, supportive environment where we can house young women’ states Tim O’Donovan, TSA’s Director of Wellington Community Ministries. ‘By working with Challenge 2000 we are confident that Sanctuary House and the young women seeking refuge there have an optimistic future.’

The agreement will enable a much closer relationship between the two organisations. ‘The alignment of our beliefs and values as Christian organisations and the opportunity to bring together our different communities of young people are motivating factors in developing the relationship with Wellington Youth Services’ says Kitty McKinley, founder of Challenge 2000.

Challenge 2000 will provide staff to live at Sanctuary House while both organisations will accept referrals and provide social work support for young women living there.

‘It’s no secret we have struggled to attract volunteers to live at Sanctuary House so we are very grateful to Challenge 2000 staff for providing a stable home-like environment’ says Tim O’Donovan.

Both Challenge 2000 and Wellington Youth Services believe that working together at Sanctuary House will result in even greater collaboration and the potential to develop new and exciting joint initiatives.

‘We are very much looking forward to seeing the benefits of this partnership reflected in the positive outcomes achieved by the young people we are supporting’ says Kitty McKinley.

For more information please contact:

Tim O’Donovan, Director of Wellington Community Services, The Salvation Army:

Kitty McKinley, Founder, Challenge 2000:

Final Retreat for GAP Students

Nine young New Zealanders are currently up in the Central North Island.  These nine young people have been on a leadership, personal development, career exposure, life adventure full time gap year programme for the past 10 months.

This final camp provides them with an opportunity to build on all the growth of the past year and to finalise goals for 2017.  An early morning run was followed by a time for reflection and now they are off rafting.
If you are interested in such a programme then contact Challenge 2000 NOW!  We are currently taking applications for the Gap Year 2017!