Short Stories By Family Members


Zubeda Intaz


Dear Te Hopai Home and Hospital,

On behalf of my entire family, I would like to extend our sincerest gratitude for the exceptional care and support you provided to our mother, Amna Khan, during her time with you. The kindness and compassion shown to her by the staff at Te Hopai were truly remarkable and made a profound impact on all of us.

The care that our mother received during the final stages of her life was exceptional, and we are deeply grateful for the support provided to both our mother and our family during this difficult time. Your staff went above and beyond to ensure that our mother was comfortable, cared for, and treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

We were especially touched by the care and attention shown to our mother during her final moments. The staff at Te Hopai handled her passing with the utmost grace and compassion, providing comfort and support to both our mother and our family during this difficult time.

As a member of the Te Hopai staff, I have always been proud to be a part of such an incredible team, but the care and support shown to my mother have truly exceeded our expectations. The impact of your team's work on our family will never be forgotten, and we will always be grateful for the kindness and compassion shown to our mother.

Once again, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything that you have done for our mother and our family. We are truly blessed to have had the opportunity to have her cared for by the amazing staff at Te Hopai.


Zubeda Intaz and the descendants of Amna Khan

Stewart Family


Mum was only at Te Hopai for a short while.

She had been admitted to Wellington Hospital with badly ulcerated and blistered legs and needed recuperation when discharged. Her dementia condition meant that she was not always a co-operative patient and so we relied on the staff at Te Hopai to manage her physical and mental condition - encouraging her to eat, to take medication and to have her leg wounds managed. 

The staff were incredible. With upmost care and compassion they worked with Mum to dress her legs every 2 days, taking time to allow her to deal with the pain and distress. The Te Hopai wound specialist worked with her daily to help her legs start to heal. 

With her physical needs taken care of, Mum's mental condition improved for the family. Although in the middle of a Covid lockdown, we were able to telephone her and Skype every day. Each of us reported being able to talk better with her and for Dad especially this meant reconnecting as a loving husband, rather than a carer/custodian at home.

Unfortunately after a month Mums condition deteriorated and she passed away. With Covid level restrictions relaxed the family were able to be with her until the end. We felt embraced and supported by all the amazing Te Hopai staff. In our sadness is also comfort that Mum passed away peacefully. Thank you for all your efforts.

Garth Baker


I wanted to thank you (Jill) and the staff at Te Hopai for your care of Alison Gray over the last six months. 

As you’ll now appreciate, Allie is her own person with a rebellious streak. When she first came into your care she chaffed against the institutional nature. We joked that really we wouldn’t expect anything different, thinking that having something to bang against might keep her going. 

But quickly she got to know staff as individuals and they treated her as an individual with her unique warmth and humour. It was these relationships that helped sustain her.

We appreciated that your staff treated her with dignity, warmth and humour.

Please share this message with them. And thank everyone who shifted their care as her condition deteriorated as she needed different approaches. A good example is how you worked to get her a variety of meals.

We realised that she perhaps wasn’t typical of many of your residents, and went out more, had more visitors but didn’t participate in activities. Thanks for accepting her and encouraging her to do what she wanted.

I’m especially thankful that you allowed me to visit during Level 4. Allie was very low when I first went in, only two days into lockdown. Her mood quickly improved over the next week. Looking back, I see this time together as a unique gift. We were able to reminisce and connect and as it turned out; it was our good goodbye to each other.  

We’re glad that Allie was able to chose to be sedated and to not eat during the last few days. This enabled her die as she lived - on her own terms. And she deserved the quick and peaceful ending she got.

Thanks Te Hopai!

Areti Alexandrou


Thank you for caring for our mama and being family through the love and dignity you have shown to her over the years.

We acknowledge the heavy yet deeply loving care you gave her over all the times when she was unwell. We also acknowledge the good times when she sang and laughed and celebrated life, whilst her uniqueness, spirit and culture were celebrated and treasured.

Sally Foster


Thank you all so much for what you did and "gave" to my mother in her last months.

I was unable to be there with her because of COVID and the very strict quarantine rules that NZ has adopted to keep you all safe.....but I was comforted day after day, night after night as Mum described the conversations, the hugs and the love and compassion you all gave her.....thank you.....when I am able to travel to Wellington I will have the opportunity to thank you all in person!

Our donation as outlined by my sister Jane is just a small token of how grateful we are!

My very very best regards


Kenneth Johnston


My late father, Barry, suffered a debilitating stroke in late 2015 from which he never recovered. After a brief period of hospitalisation in Wellington and Kenepuru he was admitted to Te Hopai Hospital where he remained for over five years before his death on 30 December 2020.


Obviously, this was not a good time for my father, and frankly, I was happy for him when he died. However, it could have certainly been a much more unpleasant time. I attribute the fact that the last five years of my father’s life were at least tolerable for him entirely to the care he received at Te Hopai.


I am writing to you to record the huge debt of gratitude that I, and my father’s entire family, feel towards the hospital and more particularly to the staff. From the Principal Nurse Manager, Ms Jill Kerridge, down, your staff exhibited nothing but the most professional and caring approach. In my view, my father received consistently outstanding care which made his final years more bearable for him than they otherwise have been.


In short, I cannot speak too highly of the way in which the hospital is managed and the staff care for patients.

You can take it from me that my father was well aware of the outstanding level of care her received, and very appreciative of it, even if he may not have expressed that appreciation himself.

Family Feedback (Name withheld)


I have just opened your GLORIOUS CHRISTMAS Newsletter from the Manager - Pakize Sari - and the whole Te Hopai Community Team.

What a Totally AMAZING Coverage !!!!!!
I am absolutely lost for further words ......just so many mixed emotions.....It is not easy to express....through the tears.....but overall Gratitude for the day - to -day evidence of those we love - being in such a safe home - with ongoing personal care and respect.

All the additional social awareness/activities and fun together....doesn’t happen without a great unselfish giving of the staff.... and that includes  office/ reception/catering and other essential areas of service and maintenance..... and the Gardens....and outings. Every one is appreciated...including the baking sessions, and music..I am sure.

Outstanding Photographic Coverage !!!!!!!!!  - Gives it’s own unspoken voice....
of a Community that aspires and achieves the Highest !!

Our family sends Thanks and Appreciation to you each one...


(Name withheld on request)

Mel Edwards and Tracey Nicolette


Letter to Te Hopai Managers & Staff

Hello to you all,

You will probably know by now that Arety passed away on Saturday morning. Very peacefully.

We do hope you can share this message with all the Carers and Nurses and Staff that made her time at Te Hopai, and our time with her, the absolute best it could have been.

Mum arrived at Te Hopai in April 2019. It was hard for her to be at the home at first - she had just lost Dad, and then her leg only a month or so later. She had a terrible infection when she arrived but she, thanks to your care and her stubbornness, got through what Dr Pickett called 'the worst infection he's seen 20 years'. And during 2020, amidst the strange times of lockdown, she would often say to me during our skypes "I do quite like it here".

Tracey and I are so very grateful to so many of you. 

We feel privileged that we got to meet many of you and frequently see mum with Danielle, Stephanie, Lynn, Tash, Raewyn on skype, and in person. I never got the name of 'my young man who takes care of me who has the accent' but he was a very important part of mum's day, as you all were. And we know there were many others who we never met, but who mum had a laugh with.

Whenever John or Lin (please forgive if I have your name wrong, you are the  lovely nurse who gave mum the fentanyl pump on her last day) or Diane gave her meds we loved how you were able to joke with her and always get her what she needed.

Amanda - we've written to you separately, but you were such a great and perfect creative outlet for Mum. She really enjoyed her time and projects with you.

And thank you to Dr Pickett and the other medical professionals. And especially thank you for the students mum 'worked' with in the last month or so - she was absolutely in her element with young people and with students. She truly loved that experience.

We want to thank you for so much:

Thank you for painting her nails. 

Thank you to the carers who put lipstick on mum.

Thank you for coordinating the transfers to the hospital for appointments, for the personal cares.

Thank you for the 'Op Shop' that mum, we think, must have been it's very best customer.

Thank you for encouraging her, and putting her in her wheelchair. That independence she had was wonderful. 

In the last weeks, thank you all so much for holding mum's hand and stroking her face.

Thank you so much to those who sprayed mum's perfume in her room so that it smelled like her in those last days.

Thank you for her magnificent view of that gorgeous flower filled garden - and thank you to the gardener who made it so lovely and lush.

Thank you so much to Delanie (and on occasion Michael) for arranging the weekly skypes. In the last week that she was able to skype freely I'm quite glad there was a car park over parking drama and we started late, because I got to 'have lunch' with her, and see her light up when Danielle came in the room. She lit up when any carer came in the room really and that was so lovely to witness.

Thank you for the beautiful way she was in her room when she passed - so well dressed, and hair brushed and those beautiful flowers on her chest.

We are going to make it that any donations in lieu of flowers (although mum did like a flower or two) will go to the Home. We will also be sure to make a donation direct to you that we hope that Mum's carers and nurses and Amanda can enjoy directly for Christmas. We can tell you now, if Mum was just moving on to another location the amount of chocolates and biscuits and treats she would have bought for you to thank you would be plentiful, so we won't risk her wrath from afar by not keeping up that tradition in some way.

We are grateful we found a place for Mum in Te Hopai when we really needed to find somewhere and we were so stressed. The room and view was lovely, the care was perfect, and we hope the new person in Room 29 gets to experience the same loving and professional care we saw Mum receive in her time there.

Thank you all so much.

Mel and Tracey 


Greg Cotmore


I cannot praise Te Hopai enough.

The mother of a very good friend of mine was a resident at Te Hopai a number of years ago. It was his praise of Te Hopai, amongst other testimonials, that convinced my father-in-law, that his wife needed to be in the care of Te Hopai.  We are eternally grateful for the loving kindness that was showered upon us. I saw first-hand the professionalism and empathy of the staff and was convinced there and then that if my elderly mum ever needed to go into rest home care, Te Hopai would be the only choice.

My experience of my deceased stepfather’s so-called care at another facility in the early 2000s jaundiced my view of rest home care. This was remedied by the fabulous testimonial from friends and completely erased after witnessing mum’s care.

Whilst my mum’s time at Te Hopai has been relatively short, (under respite care)  it has once again reinforced my estimation that Te Hopai is one of the best rest home facilities, if not the best, in the Wellington area. Should my mum ever need full time care, I will be knocking on Te Hopai’s door. 

Kind regards

Eva Kaprinay


Thank you all for your hard work!!!  It was a very hard time for the last two months (during Covid-19 lockdown), but your workers - experienced nurses, helpers, youngs - worked very well!

Tom White


It is very reassuring to hear from you Pakize and to be kept up to date re the Corvid-19 lockdown. Thank you.

I do want to say that once again,  Te Hopai fulfilled the hopes I have about elder care and  especially the care of our vulnerable elders. Lillian  and her nurses and carers took great care of ***** (name withheld) - and of me too!.

The community is indeed very fortunate that Te Hopai is available.

Over the last nearly twenty years I have been working with elders as a social worker, Te Hopai has consistently set the standard in residential elder care in leadership and compassionate care. Many thanks.

Michelle-Rose Janse


This is a donation in memory of Lynn Chambers with a message of special thanks to Te Hopai staff.

I visited Lynn a number of times over past months and was impressed with how attentive staff were, their patience, and the high level of care provided.

Mary-Lyn Chambers


There are no words sufficient enough to express what angels and superheroes you and your staff are in the care you gave our mum during her final months of life.

Lord knows what draws you to the work you do, but we are deeply grateful.

Please share this message with all who cared for Lynn.We hope this finds you and your families safe and well during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you from us all.

Alicia, James + Mary-Lyn x

Mary-Lyn Chambers

Tom White - EPOA


Dear Pakize

Thank you for your latest (Covid-19) update and warnings.

I recently sent some books and food to my father in another resthome. I shall refrain from doing so again.

I really see Te Hopai being at the leading edge of residential eldercare and so much appreciate how you approach this mahi.

With deep respect.

Tom White

Power of Attorney for Te Hopai Resident

Joan Druett


Ron Druett, maritime artist, 1934-2020 who died at Te Hopai.


Ron sadly passed away early this morning.  While it is a merciful release, there will be a huge gap in my life, and in the lives of our friends.  The care staff gave him was exceptional. All lovely people, who did their best for someone they were obviously found of. I will always recommend Te Hopai as a wonderful place for the old and ailing.

Here is the link – about his life

MacKay Family


Special thanks to the staff at Te Hopai who have travelled this very personal dementia journey with us and provided Kenny with the most outstanding and compassionate care possible. We thank you and you will always be in our hearts.

Jean Cryer


Thank you for your kindness; I have the utmost respect for all who came in contact with my Mother (Rowena Sweeney) while she was a resident, including admin staff and especially those, such as Lillian, who took such good care of her every medical need.

Peter Farrell


My friend passed away with you recently, and I bought her overseas based family to Te Hopai to see where she had been.

From my visits over the last two years, I have always thought Te Hopai an exceptional place. Well on this visit, you surpassed yourselves. I explained at Reception that I was just wanting to show my friends around and, perhaps look in the room Mal was in if it was empty. The Receptionist remembered Mal and yes, of course, we could look around. She even arranged for two staff ( I don't have their names) to talk to us. Those two people had been in daily contact with Mal and one had been with her when she died. They were incredible in the way they talked so positively about Mal and never wavered when we asked the most detailed questions as we stood at the door of the vacant room. The fact they remembered her at all let alone the various people in her long life was truly remarkable, given the number of patients you care for and Mal’s difficulty with speech.

We were all deeply affected by the visit and your compassion and responses.

It is the nature of the work you do, that your patients will often pass through leaving you wondering about their lives and the impact you have had on them their families and friends. I did not want that to happen in this case. I will forever be grateful to you all, particularly those we spoke to on Tuesday. Perhaps that is better expressed in my inadequate Maori.

Mauruuru Whakawhetai!

Leigh Brown


Mum really appreciated the care that was given to her in her last month. Just wish we had moved sooner.

So if possible can we give the money (fees paid in advance) to the Trust as a donation?

Alistair Brown


The staff were amazing, doing a difficult job. The level of care was all we could have hoped for.

Anita Winkels


Our family just want to say a Huge thank you to Te Hopai home and hospital for the fantastic WOW fashion show yesterday. Dad (Tom Springham) had a wonderful time participating in the event, which was so well organized and heaps of fun! We also want to thank Te Hopai staff and management, from the bottom of our hearts, for the wonderful care Dad receives in the Kowhai wing. We are truly grateful

Kay Pierson


Thank you Lillian and your amazing staff for taking such loving care of Sylvia Pierson.

Heartfelt thanks for ensuring she is so well cared for and loved... Your quality of care is outstanding and we appreciate you all so much...

Sylvia would give you all a beautiful thank you and happy smile if she could so we will say it for her.

Linda Button (June’s daughter)


I am living in Australia, and have spent the last 3 weeks here in Wellington visiting my Mum June Button on a daily basis, and would like to compliment and thank Lillian and all the carers for the attention, kindness, and work that goes into my Mum’s wellbeing. She is very happy there, and would also like to thank Lillian for her informative, information she has given me, on my Mums health and all over wellbeing. I am sad to leave today, but could not ask for a better team, watching over my Mum.

Carole Foxall (Ken Bovey’s daughter)


(To Jill)

From myself and all our family I just wanted to say a massive thank you to you and all your wonderful staff for the awesome care you took of Dad.

As a family we really appreciated on a daily basis when leaving the home when he was well, how relieved and happy it felt that he was in your care.

As you would have heard before it was hard for us kids that we couldn’t look after Dad at home, but your home was the next best thing. We all know he moaned and groaned at times but he truly was happy and I’m sure he felt safe there.

At the end for Dad, another huge thank you as you were also looking after us as well and that is so appreciated. Can't thank you enough for letting us stay nights and be close to him. You and your staff went beyond the call of duty and it made a huge difference to us all. Thanks once again.

Joy Hill Family Member & Volunteer at Te Hopai


Te Hopai Hospital and Rest Home came highly recommended when I needed respite care for my husband. When decision time came 12 months later, it became obvious he would need full time care.

As a family we felt Te Hopai catered for all his needs, but that Lou should have some input in where he would like to go…..Te Hopai without hesitation. The accommodation is of a very high standard. Staff are fantastic – competent, warm and friendly. I am always included in any decisions regarding Lous care. I like that he is treated as an individual and his needs are catered for. There are plenty of activities to cater for everyones needs; great fun making costumes for WOW, Melbourne Cup….such friendly competition.

Te Hopai is a place my family and I can leave after each visit with a piece of mind….Lou is in a warm and happy environment!

Lisa Roche


My mother Noemi has been a resident of Te Hopai Rest Home and Hospital for over two years now and I would like to express my gratitude to all the staff for the fantastic care they provide to not only mum (Noemi) but to us as a family. The staff always make us feel welcome at any time of day. They also say hello and stop for quick chat. They are very accommodating to our needs. From allowing us to host a lovely 90th birthday celebration for Mum in their staff room to little things like providing us with morning and afternoon tea when we visit, nothing is too much of a problem.

It gives the whole family a great sense of comfort to know that mum is in great hands with the staff and carers at Te Hopai.

Margaret Roche


When a parent is admitted to hospital care it opens up a lot of emotions. I remember not long after my mother was admitted into Te Hopai, I was visiting her in her room. One of the carers came in to see how she was and while the carer was talking to me she was gently stroking my mother’s hair. This small gesture gave me a sense of gratitude to the carers and relief that Mum was going to be OK.

Audrey Childs


I wouldn’t have survived without Te Hopai. (Audrey’s husband was at Te Hopai until he passed. She now comes to Te Hopai to support our knitting group.)

Mary, Joy Suzanne & Neville Clark


At the beginning of Mum’s time at Te Hopai you (Jill Kerridge) were there to support and guide us when we needed assistance to help her transition into care. Once she had settled in you again showed your amazing skills in sensitively helping Mum, the staff (and us!) to manage the challenges we faced along the way – mostly thrown up by my Mum’s insistence that she could be independent beyond her capabilities! I always left Te Hopai after visiting Mum confident in the knowledge that she was safe (at least, as much as possible given her inclination towards independence) and very well cared for.

Lesley Stanley


Thank you for what you did for me personally and the extra support staff took it upon themselves to provide the night Dad died and the next day.

Thanks for allowing me to stay with Dad (at Te Hopai) in November and again for three nights in January. These opportunities were very special to me. The staff overnight were very caring to Dad and to those of us with him. The male nurse was amazing in his concern and attentiveness. Another staff member took a torch into the garden in the rain to pick a gorgeous bunch of flowers to place on Dad shortly after he passed. This was so thoughtful and responsive to our needs.

For me this makes Te Hopai a very very special environment. All staff treat residents with respect - using their names, getting down to their level when speaking to them and informing them when they are going to shift the chair or doing anything that may potentially surprise or upset the person. They (staff) are non-judgemental, ensure individual cultural and preference needs are met and tolerant of idiosyncratic behaviours. Staff are bright and cherry in their interactions which make the communal spaces such nice places to be.

Betty Neyland


When my husband needed specialist care, the family was delighted to find Te Hopai. It is a great ‘fit’ for Dad and the family because of the genuine sense of community about the place. The staff, fellow residents and their families have become part of our extended family. It is comforting to know that the staff provide such great 'round the clock' care in a very humanising and fun manner that brings out that quirky sense of humour that is the hallmark of dad's personality. As a father, a school teacher, and as a member of our local community, he has always promoted the joys of learning, and having fun while doing it. We are forever grateful that Te Hopai has a similar philosophy to life. They support and encourage him to participate in a range of activities that are both stimulating and fun. Te Hopai extends his thinking and that reinforces the idea that he is a valued member of his new community. The management is, at all times, responsive and respectful. He, and we, are forever grateful to the staff and to the wider Te Hopai community.

Georgi Waddy


Just wanted to say how pleased we were with Te Hopai. We were very pleased with everything you (Pakize Sari) did and appreciate all your help with Margaret.

Judith Burch and Burch Family


Thank you for making Christmas at Te Hopai such a wonderful time for everyone living there. It all started with a special morning tea for residents and families, and concluded with the splendid dinner on Christmas Day. On both occasions the staff were so attentive to everyone and made sure they had everything they wanted, and of course the food for both was excellent – I felt rather envious.

Jim Gorman


Thank you to all staff – Doctors, Nurses, Carers for making my Mum’s last days as comfortable, enjoyable and painless as possible. Both Doctors and Nurses were always honest and up front with me in keeping me informed of Mum’s condition and the measures they had in place to assist Mum. I have nothing but praise and appreciation for the dedication and professionalism exhibited by your staff in providing care for my Mum.

Rosemary Cook


Thank you for showing us around the Kowhai (Dementia) Wing. All 5 of us were made very welcome and were impressed with the care, environment and general homely feel of the place. The recreation and social programme sounded very interesting with lots of variety. Margaret has always liked animals and I am sure she will enjoy seeing the SPCA people with their animals. It is a great unit you have there

Helen Riddiford


Our heartfelt thanks to all staff at Te Hopai for your wonderful care of our Mother, Mother-in-law and Grandmother. From the first day of her stay in the (Kowhai) dementia Unit, we felt confident that she was in the best place possible. We were particularly impressed with the dedication of the staff, the respect shown at all times to Jo, and the empathy everyone shared with us.

Over the years, and especially after her move to the hospital wing, each visit to her bedside reinforced our impressions of the highest standards of professionalism displayed at Te Hopai.

Jim and Maxine Cunningham


Catherine came to Te Hopai (3 years 8 months ago) after a spell in hospital, walking slowly on her walker and feeling very lost. You introduced her to Elizabeth and the friendship of these two Scottish ladies was very important to her. In no time at all she was passing most other residents in the hallway, such was the speed and recovery of her strength.

We appreciated the respect, warmth, humour and professionalism staff showed to Catherine and us. We valued the care and supervision given to her in the last days of her life, for example when you (Lillian) and other staff spent time doing your paperwork in her room when we were not able to visit. We wish you well in your valuable caring work, which we know goes well beyond the bounds of being just paid work.

Graeme Percy and Percy family


Thanks for the update on Aunty and thank you for the excellent care and attention Te Hopai is offering her. Aunty is looking so good and she tells me she is extremely happy at Te Hopai. To our family that is obvious and we really do appreciate everything you are doing for her.

Your staff are so friendly and helpful and I have witnessed on many visits the extra things they do and go out of their way to satisfy Aunty’s needs. On my last visit I couldn’t help but notice the quality and quantity of food offered. It is indeed reassuring for peace of mind when on lives so far away to know Aunty is being so well cared for is so happy.

Jane Schaverian


My husband Herewini Kaa is probably more able than many people in the Hospital Wing and that makes it, in some ways, harder to accommodate his disabilities. He needs many activities to keep him cheerful. He also gets fixed ideas and perseveres on them in a way that’s sometimes hard to tolerate.

He likes to paint. I introduced Marianne (Te Hopai Diversional Therapist) to an art teacher. Marianne managed to arrange art classes for Herewini and other residents. Herewini is much happier because of the opportunity to paint.

Herewini decided he wanted a vegetarian diet. Within a very short time the kitchen staff began making vegetarian meals which he absolutely loves. He is relishing food again.

There are many things I notice e.g. great effort being made to find a chair that is comfortable and to arrange a platform modification, plus a pressure cushion to ease any soreness. There are so many kindnesses to me as well. For the first time in nine years I feel I can relax and go off duty sometimes because I know Te Hopai is looking after him better than I could myself.

Gay and Colin Keating


Our mother Thelma was not with you for long, less than a year. But during that time she made the transition from a person resistant to being in a rest home and losing some independence, to a person who recognised that her well being was better served at Te Hopai and who came to calm and comfortable and able to enjoy her interactions. Her old wit and humour that had been thinned out during her last few years came back to her once she was able to relax in to the care Lillian and her team provided.

We attribute this very much to the patient, professional, and kind nursing care and friendship that so many Te Hopai staff displayed.

Rainer W. Buhmann


I wanted to contact you (Pakize Sari) to say that a very helpful aspect in mourning the loss of my wonderful late wife is, that during the last months of her life she was allowed to be at your place, Te Hopai Rest Home, as this had such a positive impact of poor Marga and her fading life.

She loved the people around her, and in her little home-away-from-home (room #76) she felt secure and looked after. In particular it was the good care she received – and that this care was somehow not solely given on the basis of a carer-patient relationship, but more so on the basis of a genuine and respectful friendship. And this phenomenon added a very important measure of quality to her life.