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Adults: Waka waiora

Changing lives of those that have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour towards children or young people

Adults - At Safe Network we help change lives of adults who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour involving children or young people

Waka Waiora Journey to Wellbeing programme

Adult Waka Waiora Fact Sheet

Safe Network's Waka Waiora Journey to Wellbeing programme is a specialised service for adults who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour towards or involving children or young people. This may include:

  • tick sexual contact with a child or young person
  • tick non-contact sexual behaviour towards a child or young person, e.g. flashing, voyeurism
  • tick accessing, producing or distributing sexual content involving children through the internet or social media
  • tick grooming a child or young person with the intention of engaging in sexual conduct.

family wading

harmful sexual behaviour includes:
  • Sexual contact with someone under 16 years old
  • Sexual contact with someone who has not consented or is unable to fully understand and give informed consent
  • Sexual contact with a parent, child, sibling, half-sibling, grandparent or grandchild
  • Sexual communications with someone under 16 years old or someone who has not consented
  • Producing, distributing, accessing or viewing sexually explicit materials online or electronically, involving someone under 16 years old or someone who has not consented
  • Exposing genitals in public, to someone under 16 years old or someone who has not consented
  • Secretly spying on someone who is undressing or who is naked.

When is sexual behaviour harmful?

Safe Network's Problem Sexual Behaviour Indicator App can assist you to identify whether sexual behaviour is harmful or not.
SafeNet App

Within the Waka Waiora Journey to Wellbeing programme Safe Network can offer the following targeted services:

Tikanga-informed approaches grounded in Te Ao Maori and utilising Maori therapeutic practice models for Maori clients

Services led by Pasifika clinicians utilising clinical models embedded within various Pasifika cultural frameworks for Pasifika clients

A gender-responsive therapeutic approach for female clients, which recognises the social and cultural realities for women within our society

A tailored response for clients who have accessed inappropriate sexual materials online or have used social media and internet-based platforms to engage in harmful sexual behaviour.

Each person has their own story to tell as to what led them to attend Safe Network services, and each story is different and unique to them... what all these people share in common, is a need and a desire to change their behaviour

What is the process?

We want to make sure you get the help you need. Safe Network's Waka Waiora Journey to Wellbeing programme is open to:

  • tick self-referrals
  • tick referrals for clients mandated by the courts
  • tick referrals from community organisations, health professionals or any other agency, subject to your agreement
  • tick referrals from family members and whanau, subject to your agreement.

If you have been referred to Safe Network under court order, your programme is fully funded by the relevant Crown agency and there is no charge for you to attend.

If you are self-referred or have agreed to being referred by someone else, you may be eligible to have your programme funded by the Ministry of Social Development. The number of funded places is limited and if there are no funded places available you can choose to pay for the full cost of your programme yourself or be put on a waiting list until a funded place is available.

The first step in the process is to complete a referral form.

Adult Waka Waiora Referral Form

adult referrals chart

ethnicity infographic gender infographic

Once we receive the referral form, we undertake an initial review to identify whether Safe Network's services are right for you, and how best we can help meet your needs.

If we think Safe Network can help, we meet with you and undertake a more detailed assessment, finding out more about your background and history, the reasons for your referral, your strengths and your challenges. If you are being supported by a partner, whanau, family members or other professionals we also engage them in this process.

The assessment process can vary depending on the client but usually involves the following steps:

STEP 1 - Two or three interviews with you and any family members or support people

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STEP 2 - Collection and review of information and reports from other agencies or professionals who are involved

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STEP 3 - Completion of psychometric and psychosocial questionnaires with you and any family members or support people

Once the assessment process is complete, a detailed and confidential report is provided, confirming whether or not Safe Network's service are suitable for you and recommending next steps. Subject to confidentiality provisions, a copy of this assessment report and recommendations will be sent to the referring agency or other appropriate people.

man with clasped hands

If you accept our recommendation to take part in our Waka Waiora Journey to Wellbeing programme, you will then be assigned one of our specialist clinicians to provide therapy and manage your progress through the programme. The duration of therapy will vary based on your needs, but is typically between six and twelve months.

Therapy generally includes:

therapy flow

Our goal is to work with you to help you so that you:

  • tick are able to have safe intimate relationships with others
  • tick no longer engage in harmful sexual behaviour
  • tick gain acceptance as a safe, responsible member of your family, whanau, and community
  • tick are living a safe, healthy and balanced life.

Good Lives

Making a difference

Safe Network provides a rigorous, non-judgemental service that helps clients change their ways of thinking and behaving so they can move on towards a more positive future


Craig*, a 25-year-old man referred himself to Safe Network after engaging in sexual contact with a younger family member. READ MORE Craig had previously experienced mental health issues. He completed 12 months of intervention, combining individual and group sessions. During his therapy he gain a better understanding about himself, learned skills that would help him desist from any future harmful sexual behaviour, and developed strategies to cope with the stresses he experienced in his life. We worked closely with the mental health professionals supporting Craig to make sure the support we provided him aligned with each other. He became more proactive in seeking support from mental health professionals when needed and was able to apply the things he learned in therapy to desist from any further harmful sexual behaviour. READ LESS


Nathan*, was a 24-year-old man who took part in Safe Network's adult service. READ MORE We identified that Nathan's ability to desist from harmful sexual behaviour would be strengthened if he was actively engaged in either work or study. A Safe Network social worker helped Nathan by assisting him to identify what financial support he was entitled to from Work & Income NZ, then exploring study options with him and providing assistance with job readiness and interviewing skills. By the time Nathan successfully completed his therapy with Safe Network he was in training with an NZQA-accredited education provider and had already attended a number of job interviews. READ LESS


Jason*, a 55 year old male referred himself to Safe Network for accessing objectionable material online. READ MORE We worked with Jason to collaboratively identify intervention goals such as reducing his engagement in harmful online communities, developing insight into his harmful sexual behaviour, regulating sexual behaviour, identifying cognitive distortions, developing healthy coping strategies and understanding patterns and trends related to his harmful sexual behaviour. Within seven months, Jason was able to meet all of his intervention goals, making positive lifestyle changes that increased protective factors in his life. Jason completed his therapy with Safe Network with a clear plan for the future and skills to help maintain the positive changes in his life. READ LESS

* Names have been changed for privacy reasons.