Take a break with us

All families, whanau and carers need a break from their caring routines to rest and put their feet up.

Take a break with us

All families, whānau and carers need a break from their caring routines from time-to-time to relax and put their feet up.

Families who have children, young people or adults with an intellectual disability often face a range of pressures, be they emotional or financial, and it can be difficult to find an opportunity to take that much-needed time away to unwind and re-focus.

This is where IHC’s Take a break with us programme can come in. This programme aims to make a tangible difference in the lives of families, whānau and carers by providing an opportunity for that much needed time-out from the stresses that can be encountered during the usual day-to-day.

How does it work? We are very lucky to have the support of a number of organisations that donate hotel nights or pamper package experiences. We thank them all.

So Take a break and come relax for a night or two with us.

We know time is precious so if you're unable to take a short break we can offer you a "pamper package". This is a voucher towards a beauty service of your choice, to be used at your favourite local salon.

How Take a break with us works

Take a break with us is available to anyone who has a family member living at home with an intellectual disability or Autism.

It is a referral programme where families can be nominated and referred to Take a break by anyone – a friend, neighbour, support worker, IHC Area Manager or you can fill it in for yourself! 

You don’t need to be using an IHC service to be eligible. IHC supports all people with intellectual disability or autism and their families.

If referred and you are eligible for the programme you will be offered one or two night’s free accommodation, at IHC's discretion, at one of our participating hotels, holiday homes or alternative lodging experiences.  

In addition, as part of the programme you may also be offered assistance with leisure activities and transportation to and from your break if you need it.  

Please note that although you are welcome to bring members of your family on your break, we are unable to provide additional care for your child or children through the programme for when you are away.

Apply now

Take a break with us is available to anyone who cares for a person with an intellectual disability or Autism living at home.  It is a referral programme where families can be nominated and referred to Take a break by anyone – a friend, neighbour, support worker or an IHC Area Manager.  You don’t need to be using IHC Services to be eligible. 

If you or someone you know are in need of a short break please complete the initial application form.



Once we have received your application form we will let you or the family know by email if you or the family are eligible for a break.  The receipient will need to complete an additional travel related form for us to start planning the short break. 

Please note that although you are welcome to bring members of your family on your break, we are unable to provide additional care for your child or children through the programme for when you are away. 



Read the terms and conditions.

If you require any further information about the application process please contact us on takeabreakwithus@ihc.org.nz or (04) 471 6569.

Please note, we will not be accepting applications for Take a break between the following dates: 1 June 2018 to 31 July 2018; 1 September 2018 to 31 October 2018.

What do you do with a boy who’s mad on water?

Five-year-old Anakin Kingi thought all his Christmases had come at once. All of a sudden the family were packing into the car and heading to Hawkes Bay for a couple of days of fun at the National Aquarium in Napier and at Splash Planet in Hastings.

Anakin loves anything to do with water, so the break was designed to do as many activities involving water as possible.

Thomas and Chante Kingi, Leisana, 12, and Anakin had two nights in a Hastings motel. It was the family’s first visit to Napier and their first holiday in a motel, and they made the most of it. They started early from home in Palmerston North for the drive to Napier so they could take in the aquarium before check-in time at the motel in Hastings. “To be honest, we don’t get away that much.”

They got a good deal on tickets to Splash Planet and spent the entire day at the adventure park from opening until closing time. “Our tickets were for full access to everything that was in the park. Anakin is a water baby and he just wanted to go swimming – he just thoroughly enjoyed the whole of the park,” Thomas says. “We made our sandwiches in the morning and we took down our drinks and had a good picnic lunch.”

Five years ago, Thomas faced the fact that his heart condition would no longer allow him to work. So he and his wife Chante swapped places. He stayed home to care for their children and Chante went back to fulltime work.

He looks back now and says he is happy to ‘play the cards he was dealt’. As it turned out Anakin, who was only a baby at the time, was to be diagnosed with autism and Thomas has been on hand to provide the support he needed. Anakin was non-verbal until he was three years old and is now slowly gathering words. He started school in October.

“It has basically worked out well – just being able to be there for a lot of firsts – his first steps, first words. It is so rewarding just being there to nurture and coach him,” Thomas says. “I have little patience and he has got none. We are both learning off each other. He is teaching me patience and resilience and I am teaching him the basics.

“These are the cards that I have been dealt – my condition and my son. Beside my son having autism, I have got a heart condition called cardiomyopathy. I have a pacemaker and an ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator). I have got a little battery pack that they inserted under my skin. That battery pack sends a charge through the wire to my heart to try to bring it back to a normal rhythm. It is exactly like getting kicked in the chest by a horse,” Thomas says.

“I used to drink and smoke. I have given all that up – I had to if I wanted to see my son and daughter grow up. I am not one to sit down in a corner and to wait for the inevitable. I want to be there as long as I can for my children and my wife,” he says.

Thomas says he and his family are very grateful for the summer break. “It was so much fun – just the fact of something new.”

Louise takes a break with IHC

By necessity, most of Louise Inglis’ time at home is involved with her youngest son, who has significant disabilities. Unfortunately, this means that Louise and her oldest son don’t get to spend as much time together as they would like.

For Louise her night away through IHC’s Take a break with us programme was just what was needed.

“It was such a treat to have time out with my eldest son,” says Louise.

“It was wonderful to have time doing lovely things together without worrying about the cost and without being distracted by the needs of our youngest, knowing he was well cared for at home by my husband and other carers.”

The pair stayed at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre in Auckland, which kindly donated the accommodation to the Take a break programme. 

“It was a fantastic venue. The staff were very helpful and courteous and it was so easy having the restaurant as part of the hotel.

“We received, our Prezzy card, which was wonderful and allowed total flexibility. We had a buffet dinner for the two of us that night, and we paid for data allowance in our room to watch an inspiring movie and still had a little more left over for hot drinks and treats.

“The best thing of all was Waipuna’s outdoor spa in such a beautiful tranquil setting,” says Louise. “It was so relaxing sitting outside, listening to the birds, enjoying the crisp winter day, feeling totally warm and relaxed.

“I am most grateful to the sponsors. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

The Walshe family make the most of Hanmer Springs

The Walshe family were recently able to Take a break with us in beautiful Hanmer Springs, Canterbury.

“Getting away at any time for a family of 6 is difficult and expensive but this gift was amazing and thoroughly enjoyed” says Vanessa Walshe.

The family were able to make the most of what Hanmer Springs had to offer including hot pools, delicious food and beautiful vistas. With accommodation walking distance to the hot pools and all amenities, making the most of their 24 hour stay was easy.

Vanessa says the trip marked a celebration for the family. “Our youngest son Aidan has down syndrome, low vision and dyspraxia. Whilst we were away it was Aidan’s 10th birthday and he loved it!”

How you can support Take a break with us


Take a break with us is one of IHC's charitable activities supporting people with intellectual disabilities and their families to live satisfying lives funded through donations to IHC.

However, we cannot run Take a break with us without the support of fantastic organisations that provide hotel nights or pamper package experiences for the programme.

If you'd like to donate an experience to support this great cause please contact Danette Wilson at takeabreakwithus@ihc.org.nz or (04) 471 6569.

We'd love to hear from you.

Thank you to our sponsors

Short Break Sponsors

North Island

Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Bay of Islands

Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge, Paihia

Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Hokianga

Copthorne Hotel, Auckland City

Grand Millennium, Auckland

M Social, Auckland

Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre, Auckland

Millennium Hotel and Resort Manuels, Taupo

Copthorne Hotel, Rotorua

Millennium Hotel, Rotorua

Whispering Sands, Gisborne

Cumberland Court, Hawkes Bay

Copthorne Hotel Grand Central, New Plymouth

Kingsgate Hotel The Avenue, Wanganui

Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park, Wairarapa

Copthorne Hotel, Palmerston North

Rose City Motel, Palmerston North

Bentleys Motor Inn, Palmerston North

Awatea Park Motel, Palmerston North

Cornwall Motor Lodge, Palmerston North

Alpha Motor Inn, Palmerston North

Hacienda Motor Lodge, Palmerston North

Primrose Manor, Palmerston North

Hotel Coachman, Palmerston North

Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay, Wellington

West Plaza Hotel, Wellington

Choice Hotels, New Zealand

Village Group, New Zealand

South Island

Kingsgate Hotel, Greymouth

Arthurs Court, Christchurch

Kingsgate Hotel, Dunedin

Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown, Lakeview

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown, Lakefront

Millennium Hotel, Queenstown

Kingsgate Hotel, Te Anau




Pamper Package Sponsor

Studio 31, Palmerston North
Let's Face it Hair and Beauty, Palmerston North
Upper Cut Hair and Beauty, Palmerston North
Grin Hairdressing, Palmerston North
Beauty Electric, Palmerston North
CT Hair Boutique, Palmerston North
Anigma Beauty, Palmerston North
Veronica Jayne, Palmerston North
Rodney Wayne, Palmerston North
Vivo Hair and Beauty, Palmerston North