Flaxmere-based advocacy and support group One Voice has helped more than 200 people in the last year throughout their struggles.

The group, which is run by husband and wife team Lynsey and Haira Abbott, does everything on a voluntary basis.

It's something the couple has been doing for the last six years - "We advocate for anyone that has suffered any kind of abuse," says Mrs Abbott.

They help people and families through issues and overcoming barriers, whether it is at work or problems at school, "anything", she says.


"The first thing is getting them to open up and usually they're at that point by the time they get to us.

"Or they're not in a very good place within themselves. That's when prevention comes in, so that's when either myself or my husband will go to the police with them.

"From there it may be to the doctors. We'll reach out and use our resources available at the time and go with them to court, which takes a long time, so we're constantly supporting them."

The couple has opened up their Flaxmere home to anyone who has no support, or may be unsure where to go or what to do if they are in a stressful or dangerous situation.

The group was started when Mr Abbott lost his son to suicide four years ago. "We've been there, we know what it's like to lose a loved one and we want to be there to support those that are not coping well.

"I think it helps knowing that you're with people that know the mamae (pain) that you're going through," says Mrs Abbott.

But it's not just a husband and wife team, it's their whole family that have given their support to strangers who are going through rough times.

"Every time someone comes, our children - they're adult children now - will give up their bed and bunk up with one another. They do what they need to, to support the kaupapa."

She says they've lived in Flaxmere all their lives - that's 43 years - and they just want to help as many people as they can in the area.

The type of support they offer is something she believes is not widely available in the area and they are considering sourcing funding in the future.

She says they can be reached through the One Voice Facebook page where a "call alert" has been set up.

"They just press on that, they'll see our number and it will come straight through to us," she says. "I'll always get in touch as soon as possible."

One Voice is currently registered with New Zealand mental health with all details on their Facebook page. "If anyone is in a bad place they can free text or call us."