McKenzie Centre - Realising a child's potential - Early intervention for children with special needs - Te Whare Awhina o nga Kohungahunga Haua




One of our wonderful Dad’s, Hori Barton,undertook a mammoth fundraising event for McKenzie Centre on Saturday 17th February 2018. Hori tackled the mighty Hakarimata Summit Track and completed an amazing 15 circuits, as a way of raising funds for the Centre. We're very grateful to Hori for this super human effort on behalf of McKenzie Centre.

 If you would like to support Hori for this gruelling but worthy task, please make a donation directly to McKenzie Centre: 02 – 0316 – 0466333 – 00; Ref: Hakarimata (Your Name) or (Business), or contact Helen at McKenzie Centre on phone 07 839 5357; email: Thank you for your support and cheers to Hori and his family!

Ken Williamson McKenzie Centre Trust Chairperson

2017 Hamilton City Council Civic Award Recipient

Ken Williamson has made his life about service to others.  For many decades, he has actively contributed, on a voluntary basis, to a wide variety of organisations in the social service, education, health, disability and sporting sectors in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty area, and nationally as well, with a list too extensive to highlight here. 

Perhaps most importantly, Ken brings to his many and various roles a deep sense of compassion, empathy and a genuine desire to make a positive difference in the lives of other people.

Since 1995, Ken has been a member of the McKenzie Centre Trust, the governing body of Hamilton’s noted McKenzie Centre, an early childhood intervention pre-school for children aged up to six years, which was established in 1984. This is an impressive tenure of some 22 years, which well and truly shows his outstanding dedication to McKenzie Centre. 


Ken is currently the chairperson of the Trust, and has been for the past three years. He has also been the licensee for our Early Childhood License with the Ministry of Education for over a decade. One of Ken’s most admirable attributes is his genuine love and compassion for the children and families who attend the Centre, as well as the sincere care and support he offers to its staff.  He is a regular and welcome visitor to the Centre and loves to interact with our families and team on a very personal level, which is very much appreciated by them. Ken is McKenzie Centre’s most ardent and committed advocate, and his vocal endorsement of the work we do for children and families in our community has been of enormous benefit to the Centre in a myriad of ways.  It is not an exaggeration to say that McKenzie Centre would not be in the great shape it is today without the benevolent and dedicated support of Ken.


Ken brings to the Trust significant expertise and experience in governance and strategic thinking, as developed during his lengthy terms in a variety of Trustee and Director roles.  His laudable management skills have been honed from many years in the corporate sector, particularly at Crombie Lockwood in Hamilton (formerly Law, Mooney, Williamson, a very successful insurance brokering firm that he helped found). 


Ken actively supports the governance of many community organisations, either by serving as a trustee or energetically encouraging and supporting other business leaders to become involved as governors, to make a difference in the community.  He genuinely believes that this develops both the individual and the organisation, to achieve greater good.  His circle of influence is vast and he uses this, deliberately and wisely, to bring about civic good.




One of Ken’s biggest heroes is that great New Zealander, the late Sir Roy McKenzie, for whom McKenzie Centre is named.  Ken has embraced Sir Roy’s kiwi-can-do philosophy about philanthropy, and practices this every day in his service to others.  He also shares Sir Roy’s traits of humility, enthusiasm, and respect for others. We know one of the highlights of Ken’s life of service was meeting Sir Roy in person. As Sir Roy served as a role model to him, Ken’s example of service to the community has encouraged many others to get involved to help others in our country.

By recognising Ken Williamson with a Hamilton City Council Civic Award, Hamilton is acknowledging his truly remarkable, selfless service and commitment to many worthy organisations and individuals over a very long period of time. Ken would be the last person to want any fuss made of him.  He is a quiet achiever who just likes to get on with the job.  If Ken is involved, you can count on him to make things happen. 


Have a look at our wonderful new video about McKenzie Centre and what we do. Thanks to everyone who contributed. Feel free to share and help spread the word about us.





Tea towels sold in packs of two with one of each design.

$25 per pack of 2

Please support us and purchase a fabulous set of tea towels! Beautifully handcrafted by Anita and the children. A set of two quality tea towels is great value at just $25. The tea towels are now available and orders are being taken in the office. We accept cash or payment directly into our bank account with your name and Tea Towels as the reference please. Email us at to place your order.

              McKenzie Centre now banks with the BNZ. The number is 02-0316-0466333-00




At McKenzie Centre, we provide specialist Early Intervention for pre-school children who have special needs, and their families, throughout the greater Hamilton area.  We are also a licensed Early Childhood Centre.  


 Why is Early Intervention important?

Young children learn and develop differently.  One child may talk earlier than others.  Another child might walk later.  Often, these differences will even out over time.  But some children will need extra support.

You may see signs which indicate your child might need extra support.  If you suspect your child does have a delay, the earlier you get help, the better, and Early Intervention can make a difference.



Any child aged from birth to school age who has a physical or learning developmental delay or is behind in at least two areas of development such as:

●          Physical – includes vision and hearing, gross or fine motor skills.

●          Cognitive – play skills, attention, memory, problem solving, sorting skills and visual perception.

●          Communication – how the child understands what is said and how the child uses sounds, words or gestures to let others know what he/she wants.

●          Social/Emotional – the child's ability to interact, respond and engage in social situations.

●          Self Help – including feeding, toileting and dressing skills.


We have specific expertise with children who have conditions such as:

Spina Bifida

ASD -Autism Spectrum Disorder

Cerebral Palsy - including Hemiplegia


Chromosomal Syndromes - e.g. Down Syndrome, Cri du Chat, Soto

Visual Impairment

Global Developmental Delay - GDD

Head Injuries and Acquired brain disorders


Perceptual disorders

Balance and coordination difficulties

 Mission Statement - 2010

We help children under six with special needs to realise their potential by providing an early intervention service that is child-centred, play- based and family focused






On Sunday June 24th 2012 Trisha Benge, our Centre Director, Helen Gempton, our Business Manager and a couple of parents were interviewed on Radio NZ's One in Five programme. The link to hear the 23 minute show is  and click on interview from 24 June 2012.



Please be vigilant when entering or reversing out of the car park area, as it can be very hard to spot little people there.  Thank you!