Canterbury Children's Team

Creating a community where every child has the chance to thrive, achieve and belong.

The Canterbury Children's Team was launched on 3 December 2015.

Refer a Child

If you are concerned about a child (unborn to 18) you can refer them to the Children’s Team.

To refer a child to the Canterbury Children’s Team, contact the Vulnerable Children's Hub.

If you have questions about the Canterbury Children’s Team, email: or call us on (03) 961 4393.

The Canterbury Children’s Team covers the Christchurch metropolitan area.

Meet the Canterbury Children's Team

The Canterbury Children’s Team is led by Children’s Team Director Peter Whitcombe. 

The Canterbury Children’s Team are:  Peter Whitcombe, (Children's Team Director), Shane Whitfield (Workforce Lead), Ngaire Matthews (Children's Team Support Manager), Sine Stewart (Team Coordinator), Anna Langley (Team Coordinator), Loretta Dixon (Senior Administrator).

Christchurch Children’s Team Director – Peter Whitcombe

Peter Whitcombe, Canterbury Children's Director (external link)

Click on the image to watch the video.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Canterbury and is currently completing a Masters in Business Administration. Since 2005 he has held supervisory and senior leadership roles with Child Youth and Family Services and Youth Justice in Canterbury resulting in significant experience in practice and the operational interface as well as in strategy, team leadership and risk management.

He is a strong advocate for working together across sectors for vulnerable children and is committed to helping create systems and people that can promote change and empowerment for families and communities. Outside of work, Peter is active in music and sports, and parent to two boys who inspire him to be a great role model.

Local Governance Group

The Canterbury Children’s Team’s Local Governance Group is comprised of key representatives from the local community, government agencies, non-government organisations and iwi. This group of community leaders ensures the Children’s Team Director has the resources necessary to address the needs of the vulnerable children and their family/whānau across the local community.

Canterbury Local Governance Group members are:

  • Carolyn Gullery (Co-chair), General Manager - Planning and Funding, Canterbury District Health Board
  • Susie Jones (Co-chair), Operations Manager, Barnardos
  • Amanaki Misa, Southern Region Manager, Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs
  • Coral Anne Child, Director of Education Canterbury  Ministry of Education
  • David Ormsby, Region Manager, Te Puni Kōkiri
  • Glenn Nalder, Manager Family Violence, Youth and Victims Services, Police
  • Henry Jaiswal, General Manager, Christchurch Migrant Centre Trust
  • Mary Richardson, Director Community and Democracy Services, Christchurch City Council
  • Moira Underdown, Regional Manager, Community Investment, Ministry of Social Development
  • Murray Roberts, Regional Manager, Special Education, Ministry of Education
  • Robyn Wallace, Chief Executive  (Mana Whenua), He Oranga Pounamu
  • Ross Haggart, Operations Manager, Child, Youth and Family, Ministry of Social Development
  • Shirley Wright, Manager, Christchurch Resettlement Services
  • Deborah Alleyne, Department of Corrections
  • Helen Leahy, Chief Executive Officer, Te Putahitanga O Te Waipounamu
  • Deirdre Ryan, Manager, Wellbeing North Canterbury Community Trust

Children’s Team Panel

The Canterbury Children’s Team panel is made up of a range of sector experts and practitioners who are responsible for reviewing referrals, assigning a Lead Professional to coordinate work with the child and their family, and approving and monitoring the progress against the Child’s Plan.

The Canterbury Children’s Team panel members are:

  • Bill Pringle, Practice Manager, Family Help Trust
  • Catherine Swan, Paediatrics, Canterbury District Health Board
  • Clare Doocey, Paediatrics, Canterbury District Health Board
  • Edwina Poynton, Integrated Services Manager, Cholmondeley, Ministry of Social Development
  • Eve Lafferty, Service Manager, Barnardos
  • Fiona Bartley, Behaviour Service Manager, Ministry of Education
  • Jane MacGregor, Senior Registered Nurse, Child and Family Health, Canterbury District Health Board
  • Juliana Kirwan, Senior Registered Nurse, Child and Family Youth Mental Health Services, Canterbury District Health Board
  • Julie Fifield, Senior Youth Service Coordinator, NZ Police
  • Lib Edmonds, Practice Leader, Child, Youth and Family, Ministry of Social Development
  • Angela Switalla,  Practice Leader, Child, Youth and Family, Ministry of Social Development
  • Maggie Orr, Clinical Manager, Adult Mental Health Services, Canterbury District Health Board
  • Michelle Turrall, Nurse Team leader, Manawhenua Hewakatapu
  • Sharyn Roberts, Senior Social Work Team Leader, Te Ora Hau
  • Shelley McCabe, Liason Consult,  Adult Mental Health Services, Canterbury District Health Board
  • Victoria Newcombe, Familyworks Manager, Presbyterian Support
  • Wendy Miller, Paediatrics, Canterbury District Health Board
  • Diane Mulitalo, Department of Corrections
  • Gary Malzard, NZ Police
  • Charlie Davy, Special Education Adviser - Behaviour Service, Ministry of Education
  • Jenny Montagu, Canterbury District Health Board
  • Rachel Vink, Ministry of Education.