Mission Statement

To facilitate change in men and women from dependent and/or addictive living to constructive living, using Christian principles, a therapeutic family environment and a professional application of recovery principles.


  • To ensure that each person entering the programme is treated as an individual, and given a sense of dignity and value, whether or not they complete the programme
  • That students realise that the responsibility for recovery is theirs
  • That students will come to appreciate the need to approach recovery from a 'whole-of-life' perspective. We want to help and encourage each student in the development of their whole person, (not just stopping addictive behaviours), so they can achieve their personal potential
  • That students will learn on-going positive daily routines which assist in continuing to remain free of compulsive or addictive behaviours
  • That students gain personal and life skills which allow them to make a positive contribution into the lives of other people and their community
  • That students are helped to find appropriate accommodation and support when they leave Te Nikau
  • That students achieve long-term freedom from any or all substance or behavioural addictions
Steps Leading Up To House

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The philosophy of this programme is that addiction has a cause, a course, and a predictable outcome, but that recovery from addictions and compulsive behaviours is possible.
Recovery is not just abstinence or modification, but it involves learning to live life constructively, without addictions. At Te Nikau we believe that addictive behaviours have their roots primarily in life issues (although other factors may contribute). Addictions are used as a life coping mechanism. Therefore life issues need to be dealt with, and new, constructive living skills learned.

Life circumstances preceding addiction and the consequences of addiction affect the whole person. Recovery means not just to be free from addiction, but to be personally free. Without being personally free, cross-addiction, or transfer of addiction is likely. Recovery involves dealing with and developing each area of self, including thoughts, beliefs, mental health, emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health, as all parts of a person interact.

In our experience, people with addiction often have more than one addictive behaviour at a time, or may transfer addictive behaviours, therefore we address all addictions concurrently, including nicotine addiction. Our belief is that recovery happens as the individual takes up responsibility for their choices in recovery. We can provide insight, counsel, teaching, structure, love, acceptance, and opportunities, but lasting change will not happen unless the person chooses to action, and respond to those things. This is reflected in the words we use. Rather than treatment, treatment centre, patient or client, we use training centre, learning, and student. Rather than 'slip' to define lapse or relapse, we use 'choice to use my addiction again'.

Te Nikau's ethos is founded in Christianity. There is a spiritual, personal, and practical framework for living found in relationship with God, and Christian principles. Together with a professional understanding of people and addiction, and a structured 'family' environment, we work with people, towards their recovery. As such we are able to provide a programme for those who desire that their Christian worldview is taken into account in their recovery process, and for those who are open to a positive alternative (to addiction) lifestyle based on Christian principles.
A Wooden Cross in the Glade

Other Services

  • We provide general and addiction one-to-one counselling
  • We can run workshops or training on addiction or other life issues
  • We can run video/discussion groups on recovery, personal growth, boundaries, women’s issues, etc
  • We can talk to community groups and churches regarding addictions and other life issues
  • We can advise what other options or places are available to get addiction recovery help

For more information contact us here

Cross Roads Christian Community Trust

Cross Roads Christian Community Trust Inc was established in December 1992 to:

  • Foster the rehabilitation of persons affected by addictions, dependency, and co-dependency
  • Provide counselling assistance to those in need, for whatever reason, and in whatever area of life
  • Demonstrate Christian concern for the social, emotional, and spiritual needs of people

In March 1993, the Trust began operating Cross Roads Christian Counselling in Newtown, Wellington, providing general and addiction counselling services. This counselling centre operated for 16 years.  The Trust purchased Te Nikau Training Centre in 1999, and started the FreedomLife Addictions Programme, and a general and addictions counselling service

Driveway looking from house towards the road

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The New Zealand Flag flying over the administration block

Board of Trustees

There are currently four members on the Board of Trustees:

  • Peter Carrington is Founder and Director of Cross Roads Trust and FreedomLife Te Nikau. Peter has worked in the addiction field since 1983
  • Chris Fawcett is a Doctor in general practice in on the Kapiti Coast. He has been involved with Te Nikau and its students since the start of FreedomLife Te Nikau in1999.
  • Matthew O'Byrne is a lawyer (family law and property), practicing on the Kapiti Coast since 1985. He has had considerable involvement in many non-profit organisations
  • Sue Paton has been involved in addiction services for many years, as a counsellor with our Trust and other agencies, a national manager for the Health Protection Agency, and as past Chief Executive of DAPAANZ (Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association of Aotearoa New Zealand. She has been associated with our work since it began.


Peter and Mary Carrington

Peter and Mary Carrington

Peter is the Director of FreedomLife. He has worked in the addiction field since 1983 and spent nine years as a counsellor and Programme Manager with the Salvation Army Bridge (alcohol and drug) Programme. Peter's qualifications; Cert. Addiction Studies, Dip. Ministry Development, Certified Substance Abuse Counsellor (USA) and MNZCCA. He is a pastor and Marriage Celebrant.

Mary has worked in communications with the Post Office and Air New Zealand and as a crèche worker. She does group facilitation, financial accounts, administration, and co-ordinates rosters, appointments, supplies, volunteers, meals etc.

Leigh Sullivan Photo

Leigh Sullivan

Leigh has previously worked in administration and in family businesses. She works part-time doing counselling, group facilitation and supervision. Leigh holds a Diploma in Counselling (MNZCCA).

Nicholas and Deborah Weekes

Nicholas (Nick) Weekes - Nick arrived in New Zealand from Barbados with his family in 2016 and started work with us in early 2019. Nick has been involved in the Quarrying industry for over 20 years, including managing quarry operations and staff in the Caribbean, New Zealand, and Samoa. He has studied with Koinonia House Ministries. He is involved with property maintenance, recreation, small group facilitation, work periods, and other support roles.

Deborah (Debbie) Weekes - Certification in Book-keeping (NZ) Debbie is one of our support staff. She has had many years of experience in administration and accounts/book-keeping. Debbie’s particular passion is to help people realise and understand their unique worth. Debbie is involved with administration, accounts, small group facilitation, study, and other support roles.

The Te Nikau Tree (our Logo)


We currently have ten volunteers involved in night sleepovers, lunch preparation, office work and practical work. Help is welcome. If you have some skills and time available on a one-off, occasional or ongoing way please check out the Support Us /Practical Support page.


We currently have nine volunteers involved in night sleepovers, lunch preparation and office work and practical work. Help is welcome. If you have some skills and time available on a one-off, occasional or ongoing way please check out the Support Us / Practical Support page.