Current News

Centre awarded Highly Commended at the Arts Access Awards

The Centre was thrilled to be awarded a Highly Commended Certificate at the Arts Access Awards 2018. Presented to our founder Hinewehi Mohi on 1st August 2018 at Parliament, the judges noted that the “Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre and its music programmes have had a huge impact, enriching and developing the lives of thousands of people since 2004. We were totally impressed by its many achievements and outreach partnerships.” More information can be seen on the Arts Access website by following this link.

Arts Access Awards 2018

All photos: Vanessa Rushton Photography

First Regional Centre to open!

RMTC is thrilled to be opening its first Regional Centre – in Hawke’s Bay on the 6th of June!

Almost as soon as our founder, Hinewehi Mohi, and her family moved to Hawke’s Bay in 2016 she envisioned a Centre opening in the area so that her daughter Hineraukatauri and other individuals with special needs could more easily access music therapy services.  After a lots of planning, and an international search for the perfect music therapist to start the programme, RMTC hired University of Melbourne graduate and Registered Music Therapist Will Darbyshire (pictured below with RMTC client Georgia).

Will and Georgia_opt (1)

Although Will is still new to RMTC (and New Zealand!) he says that he already feels quite at home, thanks to the supportive and caring team at RMTC.  “It has been wonderful to be surrounded by such great music making from the therapists, clients, and their families,” says Will,  “and I’m very much looking forward to continuing this level of compassion and love of music as I move down to Hawke’s Bay.”  Will found himself blown away by his first visit to Hawke’s Bay, and after initially being wowed by the beautiful weather during his visit, what struck him most about Hawke’s Bay was how open and friendly people were, and how willing they were to discuss and learn about music therapy.  Will says, “Hinewehi and her husband and fellow trustee George were very generous hosts during my visit, and through them I have begun to appreciate the beauty and cultural heritage of Hawke’s Bay.”  Sessions will be offered for both children and adults in Hawke’s Bay and we are currently accepting referrals.  Will is excited to get to know our new clients and says that those first few sessions when people begin to express themselves and show their personality through the music are particularly special to him.

Music therapy sessions will be offered Wednesday through Saturday in Hawke’s Bay and are available to both individuals and through group programmes.  Will shall be operating out of Tamatea High School in Napier Wednesday through Friday, and will then bring music therapy to the Havelock North Function Centre for Saturday sessions.  Please be in touch with us on 09 360 0889 or at if you’d like more information or to make a referral. 

Centre features in Artefact TV series

Artefact is a new series on Maori TV and Episode 5 focused on Taonga puoro. The Centre were thrilled to be asked to contibute and this episode beautifully shows our work with these instruments. If you missed it you can watch it on demand - follow this link or click on the image below. Thank you to Greenstone TV and the Artefact team for the fantastic footage. 



Tune In programme expands to South Auckland

Each Tuesday morning during Term 2, the sounds of singing, laughter and excited chatter are filling the Clover Park Community House as RMTC brings its popular ‘Tune In’ programme to South Auckland.  ‘Tune In’ was introduced at the Centre in 2016 and is different from our other programmes in that it is co-led by a music therapist and a speech therapist, in this case RMTC Centre Director Jen Ryckaert and Speech-Language Therapist Terexa Chan-Mow from Small Talk Speech Therapy.  This particular group is also special in that it is offered free of charge to families of children with Down syndrome, thanks to very generous funding from the Hugo Foundation and the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board, as well as our partnership with Upside Downs Education Trust.

UPSIDEDOWNS POS 3 hugo-charitable-trust-rgb339933_3 otara-Papatoetoe  LB logo_3

‘Tune In’ sessions use musical activities to develop the social and functional language skills of children with special needs, with our preschool sessions in South Auckland being centred around child friendly themes that maintain children’s interest and engagement and increase their vocabularies.  So far, we have explored the theme of autumn by singing about leaves, autumn colours and colder weather and are currently having fun with a transport theme where we sing about moving in cars, trains and buses.  Literacy and numeracy skills are targeted in each session, as well as learning about concepts such as fast and slow, stop and go.  Speech-Language Therapist Terexa shares a weekly communication tip with parents, and caregivers engage in lively discussions each week about communication strategies they use with their children outside the sessions. 

leaf photo_opt               drum photo_opt


Feedback from parents has been terrific, with them praising the learning both they and their children have already gained from sessions and expressing their gratitude that this group is available to the community.  We at RMTC are also grateful to the programme funders and are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with our good friends at Upside Downs Education Trust on this exciting initiative!   

Spectacular Gibbs Farm Open Day

On 22nd March the Centre welcomed 500 visitors to Gibbs Farm for our Open Day. Set on the Kaipara Harbour the Farm is home to spectacular sculptures, including works by Anish Kapoor, Andy Goldsworthy, and Maya Lin. The sheer brilliance of the installations was enhanced by the sound scapes created throughout the day by the RMTC music therapists. With the sun shining over the glorious setting a fantastic day was had by all, including Coco our youngest client pictured below.

 Thank you to everyone that attended and a huge thanks once again to the Trustees at Gibbs Farm who enabled the Centre to raise $35,000.

IMG_6936c_opt (1) Coco_Gibbs Farm P1300931_opt_opt
IMG_7105_opt_opt P1300900_opt_opt IMG_7148_opt_opt

International additions to the RMTC Whanau

We welcomed our second international intern to the team in January. Anthony Switala will be at the Centre for a year whilst he completes his placement for Georgia College and State University. Additionally Australian music therapist Will Darbyshire joined the whanau in April and will be heading up the Hawke's Bay Regional Centre. Their reflections on their first few months at the Centre are featured below ...

     AS2_opt (1)

Anthony Switala

I arrived in New Zealand in late January and was immediately welcomed by all staff members at RMTC! In these past few months I have been gradually increasing my caseload by expanding my number of outreach locations, and working as a co-therapist with some of the other therapists onsite. As an instrumentalist, I have developed new activities into music therapy sessions using woodwind and stringed instruments, such as the clarinet, flute, and even the violin!

I am learning more and more each day and am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year has to offer.


     WD3_opt (1)




Will Darbyshire

I joined the RMTC whanau around two months ago, and have loved every minute of it! Although I am the newest (and first Aussie) member of the team I have felt right at home here at the centre, thanks largely to the kind and welcoming support of the staff, clients, and families. Soon I will repack my suitcase and head to Hawke’s Bay, where I will be working as the music therapist in our first regional centre!

I grew up in sunny Queensland but have lived in Melbourne for the past two years whilst studying my Masters of Music Therapy at the University of Melbourne. As part of my studies I had the opportunity to practice music therapy in India, an experience which completely changed the way I think about music, health, and community.

I’ve always wanted to live and work in New Zealand, and have often looked wistfully across the Tasman. To be able to join RMTC and work with such wonderful clients is an absolute dream come true.

RMTC reaches record number of clients!


Our primary aim here at the Centre is to provide music therapy for all in need. We were therefore thrilled to provide music therapy sessions to 219 clients per week in September – a record number for the Centre. Our aim is to continue to expand our service, as we have over our 13 year history.

It has become increasingly apparent over the years that we need to take music therapy out into the community. We have fifteen outreach partnerships whereby we work with schools and organisations. But a huge area of success has been our satellites where we truly provide our services right across Auckland. Our original satellite in Titirangi now operates one and a half days per week, and was followed by Orewa and Otara. To cater further to demand, in October we opened a satellite in Pukekohe which was almost fully subscribed even before the doors opened! Tori Gac is there each Friday offering individual and group sessions and has a couple of spots still available. 

Individual sessions are the foundation of our service delivery model but we also provide pair and, increasingly, group sessions. One such group programme is Tune In, launched last year to great success. Tune In is jointly led by a Speech-Language Therapist and music therapist with the goal of helping children to develop both communication and social skills through engaging musical activities.

Our Tune In group was featured in the fabulous video produced by Million Dollar Mission and can be viewed on our Facebook page or on You Tube by following this link. We are developing more collaborative ventures as part of our programming - check out our article on Kids Jam

Thank you to all our supporters for helping us achieve these record results. 

You truly are helping us to change lives through music.


Mission banner final_opt (3)