Pukemanu Centre 

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

The well-being of families/whānau is our highest priority

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

The Centre provides assessments and interventions on a short-term basis for children and families/whānau not currently receiving support from other agencies.

The Centre is managed by registered psychologists and operates as part of the professional training coursefor Master’s level students and above, who are currently undertaking advanced post-graduate training in Child and Family Psychology. Students are involved with all Centre activities, working alongside senior registered psychologists. 

The Pukemanu Centre is located on Level 2 of the Rehua Building, Corner of Arts Road and Forestry Road, Ilam.

Due to high demand for services and current numbers already on our waitlist, we have regrettably closed our pre-schoolers, cognitive assessment, and general waitlists until early 2024. Our Fear-Less Triple P (anxiety) waitlist remains open for 2023.

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. Our services include:

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 for parents of children aged 2-10 years and for parents of teens. 
  • Parenting programmes brochure


One-on-One family Consultations

Sessions can cover concerns such as:

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

Canterbury Sleep Programme (CSP)

Established in 1981, this research programme investigates answers for difficulties in sleep development and the prevention of sleep problems. Currently, research programmes are investigating gentle techniques for settling pre-schoolers to sleep and sleep interventions for children with Autism or with rare genetic neurodevelopmental disorders. The CSP operates from the Pukemanu Centre and, depending on the availability of suitable staff, parents can also receive support for a broad range of sleep-related problems (e.g bedtime refusal, settling problems, night wakings, fears or co-sleeping) in children aged 6 months and upwards.

Key contact: Karyn France: Project Leader; School of Health Sciences.

Preschool Intervention Service

This service provides assessment and early intervention for children aged under 5 years, addressing sleep, feeding, toileting, anxiety, difficult behaviour and developmental concerns.


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.

Group Triple P (Parenting 2-10 year olds)

Starts May – June

Sometimes parenting can feel like the toughest job in the world. Maybe you just want your child to listen and do as you’ve asked, or it may feel like a battle from breakfast to bedtime. You may simply want to find out how to set up better routines for mealtimes or bedtimes or it may be that nothing you do seems to make a difference. Whatever it is, you feel keen to learn more about positive parenting and how you can apply it to your family. Group Triple P is made up of five group sessions and three individual follow-up sessions by telephone. Right from the start you will learn effective tips and strategies to try at home.

Triple P parenting programme


Group Teen Triple P (ages 10 years and over)

Starts September-October

Are you struggling with a teen talking back, being rude or not helping around the house? Are you worried about your teen and their computer usage, parties and peer pressure?

If you’re ready for a more in-depth look at the parenting strategies that really work, this 8 week Group Teen Triple P is ideal for you.

Triple P parenting programme


Fear-less Triple P Parenting Programme

Courses and workshops for parents and caregivers of kids and teens aged 6 – 14 years who are often anxious. Covering skills to help parents and caregivers positively support children and teens to reduce anxiety and cope with life’s challenges.


Triple P Discussion Groups (2-10 years/ teens)

These groups run when there are enough parents to make a group viable. Please email to register your interest in our Discussion Groups.

Triple P Discussion Groups provide practical advice for tackling specific common problem behaviours. Groups run in relaxed, short (2-hour) small group sessions with other parents experiencing the same issues. You can go to as many or as few sessions as you wish. There are four topics to choose from for two different age groups:

If your child is under 10 years of age:

  • What to do when kids say ‘no’
  • Getting kids to bed and keeping them there
  • Managing fighting and aggression
  • Hassle free shopping with children

For parents of teens:

  • Getting teenagers to cooperate
  • Coping with teenager emotions
  • Reducing family conflict
  • Building teenagers survival skills

For more information on Triple P, please visit the Triple P website.


Bedwetting Programme (for children 8 years and over)

Runs twice yearly in April and September

Thousands of children in New Zealand wake in the morning to a wet bed. Bedwetting can become quite a drain on a family/whānau’s energy. On top of resulting in extra washing and showering, bedwetting can affect children’s and teenager’s self-confidence. It can get in the way of sleepovers, school camps and holidays with friends.

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


The Pukemanu Centre is now open for referrals:

  • Triple P: Groups run for 8 weeks, and have 5 sessions at the Centre with 3 sessions by phone at parents’ convenience.
    • A group for parents of 2 to 10 year olds will run in June/July each year, Wednesdays 7-9pm.
    • A group for parents of Teens will run in October each year, Wednesdays 7-9pm. 
  • Bedwetting Programme: Runs twice a year in April and September. Sessions will be held at the Pukemanu Centre with support via phone calls.
  • One-on-One Family Consultations: Runs throughout the year. Acceptance for consultations is individually determined based on the suitability of our service to the needs of your family/whānau.
  • Preschool Intervention Service (for children under 5 years): Runs throughout the year. Acceptance for this service is individually determined based on the suitability of our service to the needs of your family/whānau.

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. Referrals can be made using the online referral form below.

Please be advised that while we endeavour to see you as soon as possible, many of our services do have a wait list before you may be able to be seen. You will be advised of the current wait list times once your referral is accepted.

For further information about the availability of services, parenting/whānau support, or to discuss whether a service is suitable for you, please email us. We welcome your inquiries.


There is no charge to families/whānau for accessing services. The Centre relies on donations for funding. If you would like to make a donation toward costs and support another child to access our service it would be much appreciated.

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 30 years' experience working with children and families. She spent a significant amount of her working life 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.

Suzi has a strong commitment to supporting the development of clinical skill and practice of those working within the Centre.

You can START YOUR FREE ONLINE PARENTING PROGRAMME TODAY at https://www.triplep-parenting.net.nz/ 

Three parenting programmes are available to help with child or teen anxiety, parenting young children up to 12 yrs and parenting teens. They are interactive, easy to use with videos and activities and a downloadable workbook. Support resilience and coping skills and manage parenting stress.

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).


Thanks to:

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