The Kōwhai Centre

The Kōwhai Centre provides free counselling support to the community.

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Student counsellors from the Bachelor of Social Services programme offer supportive counselling to members of the public in a training environment under NZAC supervision.

Students of the programme are in their second year of training, bringing with them theoretical knowledge, life experience, previous training and diversity. As a client of the Kōwhai Centre, you may be asked by your student counsellor for permission to record a client session. If this happens, you will not be visible on the recording – the camera will be focused on the counsellor.

Students are supported by lecturing staff who are also counsellors, to provide free counselling that is professional, supportive and accessible. 

The Kōwhai Centre is not available to Otago Polytechnic students for counselling.

The Kōwhai Centre is open to the public. We accept donations and do not charge for services. 

Our hours of service are:

  • Wednesday 3pm - 7pm
  • Thursday 11am - 7pm
  • Friday 9am - 3pm
Making an Appointment

If you would like to make an appointment, you can email us or complete the online form below. A referral can be made by another professional of any service, organisation or agency.

We cannot accept a referral made on behalf of a friend or family member without first speaking to the person who will receive the counselling.

The Kōwhai Centre Manager will contact you to find out more about your situation so we can offer you the best service possible. This will occur on our next opening day, which may not be until the next Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

Make an appointment here

Services offered

The Kōwhai Centre offers individual counselling sessions to people 17 years of age and older in a confidential and safe setting to explore, clarify or resolve life's challenges such as:

  • Relationships
  • Grief and loss
  • Stress
  • Parenting
  • Self-esteem
  • Planning and goal setting
  • Life changes

All students receive regular individual supervision by qualified members of a professional association such as New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC).

Please note: The Kōwhai Centre service is not available to Otago Polytechnic students. Students can access counselling services through the Student Health Centre.  

Please note: We do not offer couples counselling at the Kōwhai Centre

What you can expect
  • Confidentiality
  • Professional support
  • Respectful, caring counsellors
  • Comfortable, private setting
  • A person-centred approach and other counselling models of practice
  • NZAC supervised counselling.
Visitor Carparking

There are three carparks designated Kōwhai Centre Clients; down the driveway behind the Kōwhai Centre at 153 St David Street. Drive down the driveway and the parks are available on your left.

Please note that the driveway is narrow and one of the parks is only suitable for a very small manoeuverable car.

If none of these parks are available you can park in a visitor carpark outside D or F Blocks (indicated by VCP on the map below).

If you park there, you need to display your appointment card on the dashboard.


Kowhai Centre

153 St David Street
College of Community Development and Personal Wellbeing, Otago Polytechnic
Dunedin 9054

View on Google maps


Phone 03 479 6198 

Please leave a message on the answering machine as we are only able to take calls within the hours of service. Alternatively, please email the Kōwhai Centre Manager,