Our journey

Pathways was established in 1989, introducing a new model of care that helped transform the mental health sector in New Zealand forever.

Where we've come from

Back in the 1980s, New Zealand's mental health sector was a vastly different environment to what it is today. People with mental health issues were routinely removed from society into institutions and large group houses. Those who made it out of the institutions often received little or no support.

In 1989 a group of community organisations and individuals in Hamilton were very concerned about the lack of support for people coming out of Tokanui Hospital. They formed a charitable trust called Rakau Ora Trust to try to address their concerns. That trust would later be known as Pathways, which would become the founding member of the Wise Group.

Pathways saw the need for a different model of care in the mental health sector. Based on a strong belief that people could recover from mental illness, Pathways introduced community-based, residential living support in quality accommodation.

Over the years Pathways has continually developed its services based on examples of best practice from around the world. And just as importantly, based on feedback from the people that matter most – those who use the services, their whānau and the passionate Pathways team. 

The story of our brand

Our logo holds a lot of meaning for us and forms part of the story of who we are and what we do.

Our spirit - Whatever it takes

While much has changed since 1989, Pathways’ spirit of ‘Whatever it takes’ has remained a constant. So much so that in 2015 we incorporated it into our logo.

Stepping stones... broadening people's worlds.

When people come to us, their poor mental health has often made their world become very small. We want to help people feel as if the world is an exciting place that holds opportunity, growth and positive life experiences. 

Thought bubbles... reimagining people’s futures.

We believe everyone can recover, shape their own future and live well. We want our services and our support to spark imagination, dreams and a sense of wonder. 


Whānau... we are all unique and full of colour and diversity.

The circles aren't perfectly round, they are unique, like we all are. And the range of vibrant colours represent our diversity and the energising hope we all hold within us.