Our Story

our story

In 1989, MASH Trust was founded to supply the needs of and render assistance to sick, aged, infirm, disabled, destitute, poor, indigent, needy or helpless persons by providing low cost sheltered accommodation. It would also foster, promote, facilitate and encourage well-being, care and support.

MASH  started with just two staff based in Palmerston North, and grew steadily over more than 30 years to the organisation it is today, providing 24/7 support and services to approximately 1,700 people and employing nearly 550 staff.

MASH has been successful in developing and delivering a professional and quality, person-centred service to the people we support.

We have staff that are dedicated and passionate about supporting people. Many staff go far beyond the requirements of their jobs living up to our mission statement: ‘Working Together to Achieve Great Lives.

The people we support give back to the staff the encouragement and passion that comes with obvious progress and enjoyment of life.

MASH has been an innovator in many areas;

  • 2005 saw the establishment of our Child, Youth CrisisRespite Care service;
  • We have become a leader in Mental Health and Addiction Services;
  • Healthy Lifestyles programme for people in the community;
  • LUCK drop-in centre has gone from strength to strength;
  • The Enhanced Packages of Care (supporting people with disabilities to live in their own homes) has grown;
  • MASH was the first Non-Government Organisation (NGO) to gain the Certificate of Accreditation;
  • In 2021 MASH was awarded a three-year accreditation from the Ministry of Health;
  • Providing Back Office Support Services to other like organisations.
  • MASH was requested to assist two organisations where statutory managers had been put in place by the Ministry of Health, resulting in ongoing management by the MASH Team;
  • Requested to deliver specialised services in conjunction with DHBs, for high and complex cases.
  • Partnership with Whaioro Trust;
  • Throughout the years MASH has been awarded many Community, Primary Health and International Awards.

M.A.S.H Trust Deed Amended To MASH Trust

In 2009 the M.A.S.H Trust Board amended the Trust Deed to become MASH Trust. Removing the original Manawatu Accommodation and Sheltered Housing, as the purpose of the Trust had become something much bigger.


Growth & The Challenges That Came With It

Over the next couple of years, the service for people with intellectual disabilities went from strength to strength, growing to 12 homes, from Hawkes Bay to Paraparaumu, four vocational sites and an office in Levin. This process included many challenges, including with the Environmental Court, where neighbours objected to residential services being established in their community. These complaints went through the complete court process, where it was ruled that people with disabilities have every right to live in the community. 


Establishment Of Services For Intellectual Disabilities

In 2004 the service for people with intellectual disabilities was established with the pending closure of the Kimberley Centre in Levin. M.A.S.H was the first provider to establish a home,  The Gables in Levin, for people moving from the Kimberley Centre. Staff still remember the furore. The process of opening a home in the community, for people with Intellectual Disabilities, created many anxious members of the public. However, The Gables was eventually established and had been operating for several months when a concerned neighbour phoned the office and enquired when residents were moving because they were concerned about the disturbance that there would be.  They were told that the residents were already there!  


Closure Of Lake Alice & Porirua Hospitals

With the closure of Lake Alice and Porirua Hospitals, services continued to grow. Government began to fund new community based services including Support in the Community, homes for younger people with physical disability, Respite Services, LUCK drop in centre and Workmates. M.A.S.H took advantage of the opportunity, and services in the Manawatu began to develop. Later residential services were established in Wellington for people experiencing mental illness.

The small organisation had to deal with many hurdles during the first few years and funding was always a constant problem.  


Development Of Services

The development of services commenced during 1992 with rented office space at the Greenslade Centre, sharing one small office and one desk with two other organisations. A coordinator was appointed and later that year two support workers joined the organisation.  In 1992 two houses were established in Townsend Place and Beresford Street, under special tenancy agreements with the Housing Corporation. 


First Annual General Meeting

The first Annual General Meeting was held on the 25th of March 1991.  



Original Trust Deed

The original Trust Deed (1990) was designed to: 

  1. Supply the needs of and render assistance to sick, aged, infirm, disabled, destitute, poor, indigent, needy or helpless persons by providing low cost sheltered accommodation.
  2. To foster, promote, facilitate and encourage the well-being, care and support.

M.A.S.H Patron, Professor Nan Kinross (former coordinator of Health Service Management at Massey University), was the first Chairperson and continued in that role until 2004. 


The Birth Of MASH

In 1989 the Manawatu Accommodation and Sheltered Housing (M.A.S.H) Trust Board evolved from the former Railway Hostel Trust. The membership of the Society was largely from organisations which had had an interest in the Railway Hostel, including Palmerston North City Council, Department of Social Welfare, Manawatu-Wanganui Area Health Board, and a variety of church and housing organisations.