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.

Why go to Counselling?

There are always times in your life when things happen and you are not sure what to do.  At times like this it can help to talk to someone else. As counsellors we are trained to support you to explore any issue or concern to find new ideas or ways of coping to develop resilience and empowerment.

People might seek counselling for support for the following reasons:

  • Difficulties at home/school
  • Low self-esteem
  • Bullying
  • Abuse
  • Grief and loss
  • Anxiety
  • Parents separated
  • Sexuality
  • Getting in trouble at school and want to change this
  • Lonely
  • Social media issues
  • Feeling low
  • Struggling with anger
  • Stress management
  • Alcohol or drug problems
  • Friendship issues

A counsellor may also:

  • Provide referrals to other agencies for specific help
  • Facilitate/organise mediations to resolve conflict
  • Facilitate restorative meetings where clear harm has been done
  • Advocate for people who are disempowered
  • See you on your own or with a support person
  • Support you with your talking to your family/peers/teachers

What happens in Counselling?

In counselling you can talk in a safe non-judgemental place with someone who supports you. A counsellor should be someone who listens carefully to support you to explore and think about things differently to help discover new perspectives, ideas and choices.  Even if you are not sure how, or where to start talking we are trained to help with that.

It can help you:

  • Think about things in a different way
  • Do things differently
  • Reduce stress
  • Set goals and plans
  • Get to know yourself better
  • Improve relationships
  • Get linked in with other agencies to support you
  • Build a sense of resilience and self-identity.


Apart from an emergency,  it is important to book an appointment time rather than just turn up.  This way you do not interrupt other people’s time or get sent back to class.

To make an appointment

  • Students can fill in an appointment form and place it in the box in counselling waiting room
  • Caregivers and students can email one of the Counselling team

Mount Albert Grammar School has a whole school approach to student wellbeing, so every student and adult who attends here has a responsibility to care for each other. Staff members such as Deans, Mentors, teachers or sports coaches may be someone your adolescent talks. We expect all staff to listen, assist and refer students to the Counsellors if it is beyond their level of expertise.

MAGs has five counsellors who are professionally trained and registered members of New Zealand Association of Counsellors to support students, families and staff.  Tanya Montgomery, Lesoni Tafuna, Marianne Wilson, Carly Seaman and Matt Judd work professionally and ethically under the ‘NZAC Code of Ethics’.

The Counselling Department provides counselling support for both students and staff within the college. The team works closely with other staff such as deans, senior management, career advisers, nurses and teaching staff.  Our aim is to support students to achieve their personal best academically, emotional and socially, by supporting them to discover alternative choices and perspectives to develop a clear sense of their own identity and well-being.  Counsellors advocate for those who are disempowered.  They also offer mediation and restorative meetings and are involved in training students for these roles.

The counsellors have strong links with outside agencies in our wider community and are able to guide students and their caregivers to them if specialist expertise is appropriate.

Matt Judd
Lead Counsellor
09 846 2044, ext 8181

Marianne Wilson
09 846 2044, ext 8197

Lesoni Tafuna
09 846 2044, ext 8137

Carly Seaman
09 846 2044, ext 8120

Dave Finn
09 846 2044, ext 8201