RESTORE (Christchurch)

An adventure therapy programme for MSD clients to restore wellbeing

Are you looking to improve your sense of wellbeing?

Adventure Specialties Trust is offering an Adventure Therapy programme for clients of MSD based in/near Otautahi Christchurch.

Basically, it’s spending time outside, doing some sort of fun and easy adventurous activity, with a focus on wellbeing and growing confidence, and supporting you on the journey towards feeling ready for employment.

If this sounds good to you, come join us on an adventure!



“Getting out and enjoying nature and the company of others”

“A chance to better understand myself and others”

“Improving myself while having a blast”




  • To support individuals in a journey of restoring wellbeing
  • To build confidence and self-esteem on the path towards feeling ready for employment
  • To help you feel hopeful and positive about the steps you can take towards the future
  • To connect with nature and explore further in Ōtautahi Christchurch
  • To enjoy being in nature through activities and experiences (these will be active and will range in their level of challenge).
  • To discuss aspects of life and wellbeing in an open, safe and supportive environment.
  • To connect with others in the group.
A group of  10 people meeting together to go on a different adventurous activity each Wednesday. The Restore programme runs over eight weeks during each school term (starting the second week of term). 

The activities will be in different locations near Christchurch, and we will travel there together from our office in Woolston.

The activities could include sea kayaking, rock climbing, abseiling, walking, surf kayaking, high ropes, canyoning, caving or mountain biking.  Each activity has easier and harder challenges available.  Transport from a central location, all specialist equipment and food is provided.

The two facilitators will bring the group together at the start and end of each day.  There will be chance to connect with each other and also discuss a thought or theme each day that the facilitators will prepare.

Our conversations and facilitated discussion in this programme are guided by the model of ‘Solution-Focused Brief Therapy’. 

Contrary to what the name suggests this is not about the facilitators offering ‘solutions’.  It is more about a model of thinking that is more forward focussed – on where you want to go and the skills and strengths you have to get you there. 

We don’t go delving into people’s deep personal past or analysing problems. We focus on movement towards your goals, whatever that might be.

This service is designed as a group programme, however there will also be some individual support.  You will meet individually with one of our facilitatros prior to starting the programme to get to know each other, we can understand your hopes and goals for the programme, and you can ask any questions you have about the programme. 

During the programme time itself the focus will be on the group sessions, but there will be time for individual catch ups too – but these are not full counselling sessions. 

At the end of the programme there will be more opportunity for individual catch up for reflection and moving on to the next thing.

It is important for us to acknowledge that any person knows themselves, their situations and their challenges the best. We honour that and facilitate conversations rather than telling people what to do.

We do not presume to be experts or have the answers to any problems. We are not there to assess, diagnose or prescribe solutions.

We are simply here to facilitate an experience where you can connect with nature, with yourself and others, reflect on your life and experiences with the goals of moving towards your own goals.

Challenge is definitely a part of our programme, and each activity or environment will challenge everyone in a different way. 

Challenge can be good for us! 

Though the same challenge is not for everyone, at all times.  It is really important to us that you choose your level of challenge. 

For some, this will mean not going very high on a climb, or very hard on the surf kayaking and would rather enjoy the nature. That is ok, and we will make practicable efforts to allow as much choice in this as possible.

We always try to make choices available and make it really clear where choices are not practically possible.

This programme is an opportunity to take more time in the day to connect with nature rather than just move through it. 

On a daily basis we will go to a different environment and do an activity there.  Most of the time this will be an adventurous activity like rock climbing, walking, kayaking or biking.  However we may also do some activities specifically to connect with nature – maybe a mindfulness walk, or doing some art pieces/ sculptures with nature, or any other ways of connecting in a relationship with nature.

First and foremost it is a priority that that this group is a safe and supportive environment for all people.  Obviously in outdoor activities the physical safety is important!  We have qualified instructors and a safety management system that is audited and registered with Worksafe NZ, and we need people to follow our safety rules.

It also means emotional safety – this means we take time to build a culture where sharing is ok and encouraged by others.  Where respect is really important and intentionally built upon on the group.  It is also safety to be yourself no matter what culture, gender, sexuality, profession, age or personality you have.  We aim to build a group environment where everyone is safe and supported on their journey of wellbeing.


Anneke is our Adventure Therapy Clinician. She has a Social Work qualification, is registered as a clinician with ACC and her experience includes specialist foster care, residential care, mental health and schools-based Social Work. Anneke has worked with children, young people, adults and families. Anneke believes strongly in the healing and health benefits that come from a connection with te Taio (the Natural world) and is passionate about supporting and encouraging people as we adventure together.



April is our Adventure Therapy Facilitator. She has Outdoor Education and Teaching qualifications. She is of European and Māori descent and has whakapapa connections to many rūnaka across Te Wai Pounamu.
She is passionate about Te Ao Māori and our whakapapa connections. Since working in the outdoors she has begun to see the similarities with Māori worldview of te Taiao and the outdoor industry. She loves exploring this relationship through her personal journey and in mahi contribution.



All of our Adventure Therapy programmes focus on the following five outcomes:


Self Worth

Feel better about youself. Find out about what makes them special and what strengths you have to offer in a workplace. Practice more self-acceptance and self-compassion around your mental health and other challenges that you might face in life, without letting those challenges be barriers to working.


Tools For Hauora (health and wellbeing)

Gain and develop strategies that you can use in everyday life to help increase your physical, social, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Gain some specific confidence about managing your own wellbeing in the workplace.


Woven Into Community (Whanaungatanga)

Learn social and relationship skills which can help you to develop, maintain and strengthen relationships in your everyday lives and in workplaces. This includes communication, dealing with conflict, appreciating diversity, ask for and offering help, solving problems with others, and speaking in front of others.


Hope For a Future With Purpose

Discover energy and motivation to work towards the future you hope for and also your personal and work goals. Finish the course with some clear next steps towards work, training or work readiness.


Taha Wairua (Spiritual Wellness)

Explore your own spiritual identity (wairuatanga) and gain an understanding of how this increases your overall health and wellbeing. Discover a stronger connection to place (tūrangawaewae), and to nature.



This programme is open for people who are:

  • MSD clients,
  • Based in/near Otautahi Christchurch
  • who are having time off work for mental health reasons
  • with a medical certificate for either anxiety, stress, depression or burnout
  • aged 18+
  • average level of fitness (e.g. able to walk for 1km in 25minutes)
  • medically able to participate
  • willing and able to commit to attend all 8 sessions (with exception to illness and exceptional circumstances)

All participants will need to complete a medical and enrolment form.  It is important to us that you have a state of physical and mental health that allows for safe participation in this programme.  This will allow our facilitators to choose appropriate activities for the group and support individuals accordingly.



The Restore programme runs every Wednesday for 8 weeks (starting the second week of each school term).


9:30 am – Meet the group each morning at 71 Bamford Street, Woolston

  • The group will all go in the Adventure Specialties van to the activity
  • Group circle up and ‘check in’
  • Discuss and decide the plan for the day together.
  • Discuss the theme or thought for the day.
  • Head out on the adventure!

1230 ish – Lunch will be provided

  • Some time to relax and reflect in nature.
  • Re-group, optional sharing time.
  • Continue on adventure.

2:30pm Back at pick up point  – touch base about the plan for the next week.

You will also receive a letter each week via email from the facilitators as a reminder of what we did that day and the conversations that were had.



Adventure Specialties Trust is at the forefront of developing adventure therapy services in New Zealand.  We have been delivering outdoor education for over 38 years providing a huge range of challenging activities on New Zealand’s rocks, rivers, mountains, caves, sea and coast. 

BUT our real point of difference is in how we deliver those programmes. We facilitate every experience we offer to maximise the opportunity for each participant to develop holistically. We incorporate our partner organisations values and missions into our programme design with specific aims and objectives identified for each trip we provide.

Adventure Specialties Trust is passionate about our vision of ‘lives inspired by adventure.’ Our mission To respond to community needs by providing purposeful adventure to facilitate therapeutic outcomes and positive growth.   

We are a faith based organization with an established set of values that guide our business decisions and how we work with our clients.



We are guided by our Christian faith, which places the love of God at the centre of all that we do. This is expressed by the following values:








If you’d like to know more about the course, please talk with your MSD case manager or call 0800 559 009 and quote opportunity number 22259995 (Christchurch).

If you’re keen to come on board, your next step is to let your MSD case manager know that you are interested in applying for this programme.

They will then confirm you are eligible for the programme and ask you to complete an enrolment form along with a medical and consent form.

Once that is all sorted, we will make a time to meet with you and take it from there!


– Anneke and the Restore team

“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”

—Fydor Dostoyevsky