Forming safe and nurturing relationships in the Hutt Valley

He aha te mea nui o te ao?    He tangata!  He tangata!  He tangata!
What is the most important thing in the world?     It is people!  It is people!  It is people!

Enjoy the single life!

Being single is a great opportunity to get out there, try new things and meet new people, no matter what your age!

Join a new club or try a class

You'd be surprised just how many clubs and activities there are in the Hutt Valley, from Upper Hutt through to Petone and Lower Hutt, and everywhere in between, to suit all ages! Take a look through our clubs pages. You'll find loads of sports clubs, arts/hobbies and special interest clubs, and even dance classes and clubs too!

Give your time to a worthwhile local cause and meet new people

Maybe you've got some free time to get out there and make a difference? There are lots of opportunities for all ages to volunteer in all kinds of ways! It's a good way to meet new people too.

Social Singles offers opportunities to meet new people locally. It's also not a dating site. They're one of a number of groups who meet up with people that share similar interests through Trending friends.

Looking for love?

Dating places

If you're looking to meet someone new, there are plenty of online dating options out there. The most familiar one to younger visitors (where there are also older people on there too), will be where you can search by age and region.

Unfortunately, there are some scammers out there, along with some good people, and it's worth bearing that in mind, so check out some safety tips.

Did you know there's a speed dating service in Wellington catering to ages from 20 through to the 50s? Visit to find out about their upcoming events.

Can't find Mr or Miss Right?

Perhaps you can relate to this 36 year old woman who has never married and can't find Mr Right? There are loads more posts from singletons, answered by the same Neil Rosenthal. See if you can find one that answers the questions you have, or write a post yourself.


Spending time together

Check out our list of date ideas below! You're sure to find something new.

Staying close

Our closest relationships can take work sometimes to keep the relationship close.

We found some excellent online resources that can help bring you two closer together if you feel you're drifting apart. Here's a really good one on good questions for partners to ask each other to get those communication channels opening up. Here's another nice resource; a DIY on repair work in relationships. Neil Rosenthal's article, "Bring back the warmth with gestures" is a good read too.

Learning about each other

There's a really simple game you can play called Two Truths and One Dare. Write on a piece of paper three things about yourself. Two must be true and the other, a lie. See if your partner can identify the lie. It's a great way to learn more about each other. You could play this one with family members or friends too - you might be surprised what you learn about each other!

Dating in the Hutt Valley

Why not mix it up a little and try a different part of the Hutt for a change of scenery?

For sunny days

All areas

Go for a walk together and take a picnic lunch. There are tracks and trails all over the Hutt Valley. Find a new track or walkway to explore at
            Go out and fly a kite together on a windy day. There are loads of local parks to choose from in our region
Various areas    Go horse trekking in the Eastern Hills or Upper Hutt
Spend some time at the Hutt river - take a bucket and shovel and make a sandcastle or use the rocks to make a pyramid or piece of art, or just chill out and skim stones 
Petone/Eastbourne Spend some time fishing. See who can catch the biggest fish and enjoy cooking it up together later!
Days Bay Hire a kayak from Days Bay Boatshed, or a tandem mountain bike, or even fishing gear!
Upper Hutt

A day out at Trentham Races is always a great day out

For rainy days

Upper Hutt Have you heard about drive in movies at Trentham Racecourse? Get moving on this one as it's only going to be available until the end of daylight savings. From what we hear, it's been so popular you need to book in advance
Catch an event or show at Expressions
Go back in time and visit Golder Cottage Museum, one of the earliest pioneer homes of Upper Hutt
Lower Hutt For the more adventurous, try indoor rock climbing at Hangdog Indoor Rock Climbing in Lower Hutt
Ten pin bowling at Strike
Go and have some fun Indoor Kart Racing
Wainuiomata     Take a visit to the Wainuiomata Museum to see a school classroom from the early 1900s
Petone See a movie at the Lighthouse in Petone

Dating on a budget

How about challenging each other to come up with a date idea for under $10? Love doesn't have to cost the earth!

Here's some ideas to get you started:

  • Blow bubbles from the top of a nearby hill. See whose bubble can travel the furthest. maybe pick up some fish and chips on the way and settle down to enjoy the scenery and time out. Time it for the sunset. There are some great views from the top of Wainuiomata Hill or from Wallaceville Hill.
  • Indoors, you could have fun with a visit to Go for a walk down memory lane, or share happy times having turns playing your favourite songs to each other
  • Play Two Truths and One Lie (explained above in the couples section) - a great way to learn more about each other
  • If you have free time and nothing to do, get a Snapper card, jump on a bus and see where the journey takes you. Get off on a whim and go exploring. If you're one of our seniors and haven't got your SuperGold card yet, get one! You can travel free on weekdays from 9am-3pm and after 6.40pm, and all day on weekends and public holidays are free!

Extravagant dates

Money no object? How about some of these ideas?

Coping with an empty nest

Ever dreamed about what you'll do once the kids leave home and now that day's arrived, you find you don't know what to do with yourself? Here's an article just for you, "How to cope with an empty nest". It won't provide all the answers but it might help.

It can be a great time to remember your own interests. Find a club or hobby you once enjoyed, or pick up where you left off, with a sport or dance club!

Relationship disagreements?

The experts tell us conflict is normal and it's how conflict is managed and worked through that's the key to ongoing happiness with your partner. There comes a time when it might be necessary to admit things aren't as good as they could be. The good news is, according to the experts, working through conflict in a healthy way leads to more fulfilling relationships. Win-win!! We've found some resources to help reopen those rusty communication channels:

The Parenting Place has a huge range of resources, including videos you can watch online. Video topics are: Blended Family Success, Going the Distance in Your Relationship, Parenting with the Ex Factor, Relationships: Tips to Make them Last, and the Seven Great Secrets on Love and Sex.

Neil Rosenthal, family therapist and regular contributor to the Dominion Post, has a library of relationship posts which may include the very issue you're experiencing. You can read through the online posts, or write one yourself.

There are loads of private practitioners available to you as well, who specialise in relationship matters. You can look up a practitioner by local region, as well as by all kinds of specialty areas (e.g. family, couples, etc.):

Is the end in sight?

Did you know you can go through the family court for assistance if you're divorcing and there are children involved? You may be entitled to free counselling to help the process run smoother.


Families share all kinds of joys and trials. Here's a Dominion Post article on "Dealing with a Drama Queen". Family therapist Neil Rosenthal has answered loads more posts online. Look for one that resonates with your family matters, or write a post yourself for free advice.

If you're feeling your batteries are running low and you're not in the best of moods, Neil's article on "Regenerating yourself" offers some good tips on getting back to balance and improving your relationships.

It's becoming more common for adult children to still be living at home in their 20s and 30s, rising house prices being only one of those reasons. Here's a New Zealand piece on the issue and how it can work well for everyone, or not work so well, from Stuff.

On the fun side, check out Hutt Kids for lots of resources, information and things to do with children aged 0-12. Hutt Kids is a local site, created with Hutt Valley families in mind!

A guide to healthy relationships

Short version

Take a look at children's definitions of love for inspiration (and some good humour).

The long version - on love and equality

There is a resource out there that explains what an equal relationship is. It can ruffle a few feathers because the Equality Wheel came about through women telling their stories of domestic violence. With slight modifications, it applies just as well to the broader audience of both men and women. Here it is, in its adapted version below in the hope of helping more couples love and stay in love.

Fairness and negotiation

  • Resolving conflict (or disagreements) in a healthy manner, so that both parties feel like winners. This is the opposite of win/lose tactics and blaming, where one person must be right in order to make the other person wrong
  • Accepting change. Change is a part of life and can be fought against (in an unhealthy, win/lose way) or discussed, negotiated and accepted (in a healthy, win/win way)
  • Learn to compromise. Meet each other in the middle, through fair negotiation

Responsibilities shared

  • Agreeing on what is a fair share of work
  • Family decisions are made together

Respecting each other

  • Listening to each other without judgement or put-downs
  • Respecting, valuing and negotiating each other's needs for emotional support, physical intimacy and independence
  • Valuing each other's opinions, even though they differ

Healthy behaviour

  • Talking and behaving in a non-threatening/non-intimidating way
  • Allowing each other to safely express their needs and wants

Financial partnership

  • Making decisions on money matters together. Both parties benefit from what's agreed on in the financial arena

Support and trust

  • Trusting and supporting each other's goals in life
  • Respecting each other's right to their own activities, friends, opinions and feelings. Friends can be a bit tricky if they're impacting on the quality of the relationship. Use good communication skills to resolve any conflicts, especially if friendships impact on your children's welfare

Responsibility and honesty

  • Being responsible and accountable for your own actions and behaviours (using honesty, not denial)
  • Being able to admit you were in the wrong, or used unhealthy relationship behaviours
  • Communicating in an open and honest way (no blaming)

Parenting responsibly

  • Sharing the responsibilities that come with parenting
  • Being a positive role model for your children by modelling to them, these healthy relationship behaviours

Unhealthy relationships

You can see the original Equality Wheel here, or look up the Duluth Wheel, which breaks down the elements of domestic violence. Note, both were written from a women's perspective as they were created to help women understand the abusive relationship they were experiencing.

If you or anyone you know is living with domestic violence and are in fear of your partner, visit the New Zealand police family violence page here for information, or for women, phone your local Women's Refuge: Hutt Valley Women's Refuge (for advice/support/crisis), on 569 1040, or Kokiri Marae Maori Women's Refuge on 565 5025. There are currently no support agencies for male victims of domestic violence that we are aware of. If your life is in danger call the NZ Police on 111.

You may also be interested in: