Mark's story – from Birthright Client to Birthright Social Worker

When Mark O’Rourke was going through a difficult separation in 2010, the last thing he felt like attending was a Parenting through Separation (PTS) programme through Birthright.

“I felt at that stage that the Family Court system was a little bit gender biased and that I just kept banging my head against a brick wall.

“So, I was quite hesitant about doing the two-night course – but my whole perception of everything changed after that.”

Mark says one of the key factors that changed his attitude was meeting Birthright social worker and course facilitator Megan Morton.

Barnardos (Wanganui)

(06) 348 2091
Street address: 
31 Niblett Street, Wanganui
Services offered: - KidStart (06) 348 2092 - Children’s Supervised Contact - "All About Me" programmes for children and their parents/caregivers - Parents as First Teachers (PAFT) (home visiting for first three years of a child’s life) (06) 348 2094 - Free Parenting through Separation courses

Barnardos (Wellington)

(04) 385 7560
Email address: 
Street address: 
181 Vivian St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Barnardos support services help: - Families under stress or in crisis - Sole-parent families - Children and young people who are at-risk from abuse or neglect, or who are distressed or disadvantaged - People wanting information about issues relating to families and services for families.

Birthright welcomes funding to build independence for families led by one person

Birthright New Zealand is delighted to be a recent recipient of funding from the Strathlachlan Fund. 

This funding will support a project to research, review and develop a sustainable programme for the support of single parent families who are upskilling, studying or undertaking apprenticeships or similar. 

This project will build on the legacy created by Sir Roy McKenzie whose generosity established Birthright retraining and scholarship opportunities over a number of years. 

Fifty years on - Birthright in the 2000s

The 2000s saw many changes in family types and make-up, including a steady rise in one-parent families, decreasing marriage rates and greater ethnic diversity, with around 1 in 5 New Zealand children born with two or more ethnicities.

In 2001, the proportion of women more likely to be single parents also differed significantly according to ethnic group and age. For example, Maori (41%) and Pacific (29%) children were more likely to be living as part of a one parent family, while European (17%) and Asian (12%) children were least likely to be living in this type of family.

Former Birthright Client Becomes Top Genetic Scientist

Dr Mary Gray is a scientist that devoted her twenties to unearthing maverick genes in rare genetic conditions. In fact, the former Birthright client starting making a name for herself back in her student days at the University of Otago, where after only four months working on her first research project, became part of a team that were the first to determine the gene responsible for the genetic condition cutis laxia.

Forty years on - Birthright in the 1990s

The 1990s began with one of the Government’s most radical reforms in the history of state housing: the removal of income-related rents and the establishment of a government accommodation supplement. For hundreds of state house tenants, the impacts of the reforms would prove to be detrimental.


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