"John is wonderful, Tama thinks the world of him, and I think he's great too for all the time he puts into my son. I'm so thankful we managed to get into Big Brothers, what you guys do is awesome!"


We strive to make a
difference to young lives.

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BBBS Nelson-Tasman

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nelson-Tasman is now in its 19th year of providing mentoring friendships to children in need of additional adult support.

Since the first ‘match’ in Nelson was made  in 1998, the programme has grown to where it now has more than 180 young people matched with a mentor each year. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nelson-Tasman works in partnership with the Nelson Police and has a strong relationship with the local Nelson community.

Our Vision is that every child who needs a mentor, has a mentor. 

Our Mission is to build, strengthen and promote positive relationships between children, youth, adults and families by facilitating positive and rewarding mentoring relationships within our community.



Our Programmes

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nelson-Tasman operates three core mentoring programmes:

Community-Based Mentoring
Mentors and young people meet on their own either after school or on the weekends (1-4 hours a week). Together you can share the kinds of activities they already like to do, such as: kicking a ball, playing games, flying a kite or walking the dog at the beach.

School-Based Adult Mentoring
Volunteers spend one hour a week meeting with their young person at a local school. This mentoring only occurs during the term time and only on the school grounds. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides a resource box that the mentor and young person can use, full of activities and ideas. The Schools which have adult mentors in are currently Auckland Point School, Victory Primary School, Nelson Central School, Nelson Intermediate School, Nayland Primary School, Birchwood Primary School, Stoke Primary School, St Joseph's School, Richmond Primary School, Henley Primary School and Waimea Intermediate School.

School-Based Teen Mentoring
College age students (year 12-13) from Nayland College, Nelson College for Girls, Waimea College and Motueka High School mentor a young person at a local primary school for one hour each week. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides a resource box that the mentor and young person can use, full of activities and ideas. The Schools which have teen mentors are currently Nelson Central School, Victory Primary School, Nayland Primary School, Birchwood Primary School, Stoke Primary School, Henley Primary School, St Joseph's School, Nelson Intermediate School and Parklands Primary School.


BBBS Nelson-Tasman is run by a
small team of  passionate,
friendly people.

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We have a team of six staff: 
Programme Director: Chelsea Routhan

Mentoring Co-ordinators: Jacquie Leabeater, Maree Kenyon, Cathy Wightman and Amy Trembath

Communications and Team Support: Georgie Kerby


Ross established his consultancy business in 1993 to provide training and development services to industries.  Ross has experience as a business owner and company director. He has helped local businesses develop long and short term business plans, helped identify operational structures and roles required to make those plans work, and helped prepare staff for those roles. Ross has a New Zealand Certificate in Building, A National Certificate in Adult Education and Training, and a Diploma in Tertiary Education Administration. He has been chair of BBBS Nelson for 4 years.


Gaile has been a board member since 2010 and has served the past 3 years as Deputy Chair.  Gaile is currently a Nelson City Councillor.  She is a Rotarian in the club which first nurtured the programme. 

She is very passionate about the Big Brothers Big Sisters programme and was introduced to this through her late husband who was a previous chair.  “It is extremely rewarding to be involved in a well-run programme with a Board who have a professional approach and a clear vision of what we are trying to achieve”.

Ross is the Treasurer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Nelson, having joined the Board in late 2011.

He is a keen golfer and is currently men’s club captain with the Tasman Golf Club.  He works with Strawbridge and Associates Chartered Accounts in Nelson, and is a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants.  He is also a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International.

He and his wife Lynn have two adult sons who live and work in Denmark.  In his spare time, he enjoys travel and has been known to write poetry, particularly for children and special occasions.


In 2009 Ian was the Nelson Police representative on the board in the role as Family Violence Coordinator.  The partnership between NZ Police and BBBS Nelson has continued to remain strong with committed board members such as Ian. 

While he no longer sits on the board of trustees as the Police Representative he has elected to remain involved due to the positive outcomes of the programme. His extremely proficient skills around ensuring children remain safe regardless of who’s care they maybe under are of huge benefit.  

While there are many ways to measure success, personally the best measure is witnessing the smiles on the young faces of our mentorees that he knows without the BBBS programme may not have been provided the same opportunities in life. 

Having been the Programme Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nelson for the past 4 years, Rachel has seen, first hand, the impact that the programme has on the lives of children and young people in our community. 

She is absolutely thrilled to be able to continue to support the organisation by being an active board member and advocate for the programme and what it does. She is also a 'Big Sister' and gets a real buzz from spending time with her 'Little Sister'. She says it is such fun to take time out to play and see the world through the eyes of a child! 


Sue Gibbons is a Sales & Marketing Consultant with Summit Real Estate Limited Nelson, serving in her role since 2004. Sue & her husband Warren share the mentoring of Alex now in their 3rd year of being matched.

Sue brings to the Board a grass roots approach to BBBS along with a wide client network and has been the Secretary since she joined the Board. She enthusiastically supports BBBS in as many of their functions and fundraising as her busy schedule allows.

Sue has lived in Nelson for the last 18 years and works for Plus4 Insurance Solutions as their Practice Manager. She has been involved in fundraising on various School PA’s over the last decade and was introduced to BBBS by a friend who thought she might like to become involved with a very worthwhile and rewarding cause, as her children had left home.

She has been on the Board now for around 2 years and is very proud to be associated with BBBS Nelson.  She says it is extremely well-run, and it really works – children’s lives are changed, what a difference a few hours with a mentor can make in the life of a disadvantaged child.

Stephen is the Managing Partner Nelson, Marlborough and the West Coast for BNZ Partners (Agribusiness, Corporate, Commercial & Business Banking, Private Bank).

Prior to joining BNZ Partners, he spent 8 years in Senior Leadership roles with FMG (Farmers Mutual Group) as Group Regional Manager, South Island; National Business Change and Organisational Development Manager.

Stephen is also an alumni of University of Otago, Board Member of the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology Business Advisory Board; Stephen is past Chair and Director of Lifeline and Past Trustee The Colonel Noel Percy Trust (Melrose) Society Incorporated.


Lani joined the Big Brother Big Sisters Board in 2017 and works at Tasman District Council as the Community Partnerships Officer.

She is very passionate about the Big Brothers Big Sisters programme and believes it can really make a difference to young people in our communities. She is local to Motueka and is excited to support the programme extending out to the Motueka community. Lani is thrilled to be a part of such a successful and rewarding programme.