Te Whare Awhero (Hope House) operating under the Hornby Presbyterian Community Trust.

Counselling at Te Whare Awhero


In counselling you are listened to and helped to explore the difficulties and concerns that you have. You are encouraged to make changes orientated towards healing and wholeness.

We are able to assist you in the areas of Personal growth including; Problem solving, decision making, grief and loss, relationship difficulties and spiritual direction.

Our services are available for children, young persons and adults.

Sessions usually last up to an hour. The number of sessions will vary from person to person and will be negotiated with you. You have the right to exit our services at any time.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Te Whare and all our counsellors adhere to a professional code of ethics and to the provision of Confidentiality under the Privacy Act 1993.

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SydneyLyna Ruffell - Counselling Coordinator and Qualified Counsellor, Bachelor of Counselling (MNZCCA)

Lyna has a Bachelor of Counselling (Vision College) and is the Coordinator of our Counselling Team. “My areas of interest include: developing personal and professional self-awareness including identity, and exploring relationship difficulties. I also have an interest in women’s issues and parent child difficulties. My passion is to help those in the helping profession and to see healing and restoration occurring in all our lives. I enjoy painting, going to the beach and relaxing.”


SydneyLukas Swart - Registered Psychologist (MEdPsych), (NZPsS)

Lukas Swart is a Registered Psychologist with 20 years’ experience working in special education in New Zealand. Lukas spent several years as a classroom teacher and then lecturer and senior lecturer providing further training for teachers.  He worked as a psychologist in private practice prior to coming to New Zealand in 1997. Lukas has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology.  His training had a strong emphasis on psychological assessments, behaviour and cognitive therapies and counselling.  He also completed a residency in medical hypno-analysis at the Ohio Institute of Medical Hypno Analysis.  Lukas is a behaviourist with a special interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).  ACT forms the basis for all his therapeutic interventions. Lukas is an excellent speaker and has presented on numerous occasions to small and large groups on topics related to special education and human development.


Lukas is available after hours 4pm-9pm Mon – Thursday & Saturday by appointment.
Counselling Fee $80 per session

June web June Zhu - Qualified Counsellor (Dip. Counselling)

June has a Diploma of Counselling (Vision College) and a Diploma of Preventative Medicine (China).  June is currently working towards a Bachelor of Counselling for Professional development. “My areas of interest include personal growth and development. I am also passionate in working with women's Issues, multi-cultural and relationship counselling. I enjoy reading and walks in the park.

Sydney Verona Naidoo - Qualified Counsellor BA, (B.Counselling)

Verona has a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Counselling (Laidlaw College) and is currently working towards the Bachelor of Counselling for professional development. “People are very important to me and I’m passionate about seeing others succeed in life.  My motto in life is: ‘May my everyday, be someone else's one day'. I am able to assist you in areas such as: Problem solving, decision making, developing tools and strategies to deal with challenging situations, enriching relationships, communication, parenting difficulties, stress management, and working with change.  I enjoy reading, music and the theatre.”

Emma Emma Saunders - Qualified Counsellor - (Bachelor of Counselling) (MNZCCA)

Emma has a Bachelor of Counselling (Vision College). “I enjoy working with people at all ages and stages of life, however I have a particular passion for working with children and youth who are hurting. I provide a safe creative space for our young people to explore their feelings and issues that are going on in their lives. I also enjoy learning about different cultures and how to communicate with people of different nationalities.”

NicoleRebecca (Bex) Smith - Qualified Counsellor  (Dip. Counselling)

Bex is currently in her final year at Vision College working towards her Bachelor of Counselling.  I am interested in working with people of all ages with a particular focus on children and young people. The main modalities in which I use are Person Centred Counselling and Creative and Play therapies. I am passionate about providing a safe space where people can come and feel supported and understood. In my spare time I love doing anything creative, whether it’s painting and drawing, making things or being musical. 


Cate Walton - Masters of Counselling internNZRM, Plunket Cert, Dip Teach (ECE), MN

I have worked for many years as a Registered Nurse mostely with families of young children and I am also an Early Childhood teacher. These days I work as a counsellor and I am completing my Masters of Counselling at Canterbury University. I enjoy working with all people, from all walks of life and cultures. I particularly like to work with families with young children. I am the mother of four adult children, and I am married to Chris, and we live with our two dogs. I enjoy reading and wool craft. 


Emma Christie - Qualified Counsellor (BA, Psychology & Education + Bachelor of Counselling) MNZAC

I am passionate about working alongside young people to help them discover their full potential and work through tough issues that get in the way of living the life they want to live. With 10 years experience working with youth in a variety of areas including mental health and youth work, I enjoy guiding young people through the areas of grief & loss, anxiety, depression, burnout, self-care and stress management. I enjoy spending time with friends and family and keeping active through running and crossfit.


SydneySydney Erickson - Diploma of Family Support

Hello! I am an American who immigrated to New Zealand 7 years ago. I am finishing my Bachelor of Counselling this year through Bethlehem Tertiary Institute. It is a privilege for me to journey with others through the difficulties of life. I mainly work with children and young adults but I will also be working with some adults. In my free time I love coffee, catch up's, spending time with loved ones, enjoying nature and music. 


SydneyChristine Hopper - Counselling intern, BA (Education).

Christine is currently working towards a Bachelor of Counselling  (Laidlaw College).  I find it a great honour to walk with others as they journey through times in life that may be challenging, confusing and painful. I am married and have two adult sons and a teenage daughter. I love spending time with my family, friends and in the outdoors, and when I have time (and inspiration!) I love painting.


SydneyKatrina Jones - Counselling Intern, Bachelor Teaching (ECE).

I am currently working towards a Diploma of Counselling (Vision College) and in my previous professional life I was an Early Childhood teacher for 13 years. After completing some Child Centred Play Therapy Modules, I followed my heart to re-train as a counsellor. In a busy world I endeavour to create a safe, non-judgemental, peaceful space for children and adults to explore life’s challenges.  I have a particular interest in working with children and adults that are sensitive to their environments, both emotional and physical. I like to work creatively within a Person Centred Approach.
I enjoy spending time with my partner, friends and family and connecting with nature and challenging my fitness levels on the Port Hills tracks with our much loved family dog. I have studied several areas of Art and Design, so spending time painting, printmaking and renovating our home are other areas of interest.


SydneyFran Atkinson - Counselling Intern, BA English

I have almost completed a Diploma in Counselling, and also hold a BA in English. I am passionate about creating a safe, non-judgemental space where clients can self-reflect, and learn to heal. I am particularly interested in working with those who are struggling with mental health, stress management, and self care.
In my down time I enjoy being immersed in nature, expressing my creativity, and learning about the world.




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Services Overview

Our vision at Te Whare is to positively influence and strengthen our community by offering services that embrace families and individuals facing life's changes.

Contact Us

Te Whare Awhero (Hope House) is located in Hornby, Christchurch operating under The Hornby Presbyterian Community Trust.

36 Amyes Rd Hornby Christchurch

03 9674673