Enhancing and Evidencing Peer Support in Aotearoa New Zealand 


Toka Tū is an evaluation and research project involving 11 mental health and/or addiction NGO peer support programmes in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The aims of Toka Tū are to increase the capability and capacity of participating organisations to undertake evaluation as well as to begin to develop a much needed evidence base associated with recovery-focused peer-support services in New Zealand.

This three year project uses developmental, participatory action methodology to answer the following questions:

     1.   What are the processes and outcomes being supported by NGO peer-support services?

     2.   What are the resources and procedures that will support NGOs to initiate and undertake ongoing evaluation of peer support services?   

Definition of Peer Support for this project

In deciding upon a definition the leadership group of the Toka Tū project considered a number of existing definitions of peer support and chose the following definition based, in part, on the work of Shery Mead.


Peer support is organised support based on shared experience of emotional and/or psychological pain.

Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful. The peer relationship is purposeful, non-judgemental, strengths based and recovery focused.

The connections and trusting relationships that are formed lead to hope and movement toward achieving goals and dreams.



Toka Tū  is a project managed by Kites Trust. Kites works to ensure people who experience mental health/addiction problems have equal opportunities as all citizens to live, work and participate in the community.