Pukemanu Centre 

“Kia tu, kia puawai tu kaha te whānau ora – With a strong and healthy family, we are all strengthened.”

The Pukemanu Centre is working to support families through the Covid 19 crisis. Our clinic is temporarily closed but we are providing services remotely, where possible. If you wish to contact us please email hscclinic@canterbury.ac.nz
He Waka Eke Noa. We are all in this together

The Pukemanu Centre is run by the University of Canterbury Child and Family Psychology programme.

Located on level 2 of the Rehua building, corner of Arts Rd and Forestry Rd at the UC Ilam campus, the centre provides assessments and interventions on a short-term basis for children and families/whānau not currently receiving support from other agencies, or who face long waiting lists.

The centre is managed by registered psychologists and operates as part of the professional training course for students in advanced postgraduate training in Child and Family Psychology. Students are involved with all centre activities, working alongside senior registered psychologists. The well-being of families/whānau is our highest priority.

Our service is shaped by the principles of:

  • Tika – Honouring our families/whānau
  • Pono – Working with integrity
  • Aroha – Providing empathy and compassion
  • Tautoko – Supporting students in a high-quality learning environment
  • Manaaki – Valuing families/whānau by providing high-quality psychological services

The centre aims to provide:

  • Early intervention to prevent later problems
  • Evidence-based interventions - informed by sound research, which fits with recognised professional practice and tailored to individual family/whānau situations
  • Strength-based approaches that recognise child and parent abilities
  • Skills parents need to confidently manage in the future
  • Parenting programmes brochure

We provide assistance for parents, whānau and caregivers concerned about their child's behaviour, social and/or emotional development. We also offer practical assistance, parenting information, advice and support for parents of children from infancy through to high school age.

Triple P - Positive Parenting Programme

The Triple P programme is evidence-based and uses internationally recognised family support strategies including:

  • Topic-based workshops addressing common developmental concerns or specific behaviours such as managing fighting and aggression, sleeping problems and dealing with disobedience
  • Full-length parenting courses covering general parenting skills and positive child/parent relationship building
  • Parenting programmes brochure

One-on-one consultations

Sessions can cover issues as varied as:

  • Worries about development or language delays
  • Persistent crying, temper tantrums, not following instructions, aggression, hitting, biting
  • Getting kids co-operating or difficulty with routines at mealtime, bedtime or bath time
  • Trouble expressing feelings, withdrawal, social isolation, low self-esteem
  • Common childhood fears, problems with separating
  • Toileting problems, bedwetting

 Canterbury Sleep Programme

Established in 1981, this research programme investigates issues in sleep development and the prevention of sleep problems. Parents can receive support for a broad range of sleep-related issues such as bedtime refusal, settling problems, night waking, fears or co-sleeping.


Families may be offered the opportunity to participate in postgraduate research.  A recent example was a study into play therapy for children distressed by earthquakes.

Tuning in to kids 3 to 8 years old

Build your children's resilience with emotionally intelligence parenting. Learn how you can teach your child the skills they need to master their own emotions. This is a six-session group programme for parents of 3 to 8 year-olds

The programme will help you to:

  • Talk with your child
  • Settle your child
  • Help your child learn to manage their emotions
  • Help prevent behaviour problems in your child
  • Teach your child to deal with conflict

Triple P teen (ages 10 and over) group

You want to create the happiest home life you can. Maybe you have a few concerns about your child’s behaviour – perhaps there’s disobedience, perhaps some days it may feel like a battle from breakfast to bedtime, other days it feels like other parents don’t seem to have it as tough as you or you simply want to find out how to set up better routines for mealtimes or bedtimes. Whatever it is, you feel very keen to learn more about positive parenting and how you can apply it to your family.

If you’re ready for a more in-depth look at the parenting strategies that really work, Teen Triple P is ideal. This will be a four-session programme for parents of children aged 10-plus years. There is also the possibility of individual follow-up support.

Bedwetting 8 to 12 years

Thousands of children in New Zealand wake in the morning to a wet bed.

For many more daytime wetting is a very common but frustrating experience.

If you are the parent of a child aged between 8 -12 years and have these concerns, then contact us. This group programme will support you and your child to understand what's causing this problem and create an effective treatment plan to help.

The Pukemanu clinic is now open for referrals:

  • Parent Groups: These are run when there are enough parents to make a group viable.
  • Triple P: The groups have 4 sessions at the Centre, 3 phone sessions at the parents’ convenience and a last session back in at the Centre.
    • A group for parents of 2 to 12 year olds will run May to June 2019, Wednesdays 7 to 9pm.
    • A group for parents of Teens will run July to September 2019, Wednesdays 7 to 9pm. 
  • Enuresis Bedwetting Groups: These run twice a year in May and August.

Sessions will be held at the Pukemanu Centre, level 2 of the Rehua building on the UC Ilam campus. To register your interest please send your name, contact details and which programme you wish to attend to hscclinic@canterbury.ac.nz or phone 03 369 0130.

We accept self-referrals as well as referrals from professionals, for example, teachers and other educational, health or welfare providers. Centre hours and appointments are by prior arrangement.

We are currently accepting families with behavioural issues/difficulties regarding their children as well as some sleep cases. We have a waitlist for anxiety cases and encopresis/soiling.

There is no charge for our services.

  • To enquire about accessing our services please email us 

Associate Professor Karyn France

Clinical Psychologist and Coordinator of the Child and Family Psychology Programme

Karyn is a qualified clinical psychologist and has spent many years working in the child and family area. After finishing her PhD she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Christchurch School of Medicine. In 2000 Karyn set up the Child and Family Psychology programme. Her specialities include the development of infant sleep, child and family interventions, emotional and behavioural regulation in children and parent behaviour and education.

Suzi Hall

Centre Director and Registered Psychologist

Suzi is a registered psychologist who has over 20 years' experience working with children and families. She spent 14 years working for Child Youth and Family Services providing psychological assessments and interventions for families where care and protection issues were identified. A strong focus in her work was interviewing children in the joint Police and Child Youth and Family Services Evidential Unit assessing possible abuse and working with children who had experienced trauma as the result of abuse.
Assessment of parenting, delivery of parenting and child interventions, high and complex needs cases and supervision for a range of professionals in the child and family area are part of her private practice work. She is an accredited trainer for Triple P International, delivering training to professionals in New Zealand, the UK and Canada.

Julie Densem

Clinical Psychologist

Julie is a qualified clinical psychologist who has spent many years specialising in the child and family area. Her experience includes working with children, youth and their families at specialist outpatient mental health services. At Youth Specialty Service Julie established and coordinated the family therapy team. More recently in private practice, she has developed interests in childhood anxiety disorders, enuresis and the impact of divorce on children, the latter as a result of undertaking Family Court reports.

Myriam Bejjani

Registered Psychologist

Myriam is a registered psychologist who has a background working in early intervention in Australia. This involved supporting families who have children with disabilities including autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, and developmental delays. Prior to this, Myriam provided psychology services to children in schools with Group Special Education (Ministry of Education) and also worked as a counselling psychologist in Christchurch.


Thanks to:

  • Sir Campbell and Lady Leita Wylie Foundation for their generous sponsorship
  • Anne and Betty Wignall for their generous sponsorship, support and vision
  • The UC Foundation for their advice and administrative support
  • The family of the late Trudi Mackay for donations of play equipment
  • Paul Shackleton for creative support.

Apply for one of our programmes

We accept self-referrals as well as referrals from professionals (e.g. teachers, other educational, health or welfare providers).