Our Story

Our History

We are a charitable (non-profit) trust with Level 3 MSD Social Service Accreditation and the New Zealand Centre of Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International, a non-profit organisation that has served millions of people in 20 different countries on 6 continents since 1989.

Founded by Cornelia Baumgartner and Martin Hartman, the Empowerment Trust remains closely aligned with and supported by Kidpower International. Cornelia and Martin remain deeply committed to bringing the best training available on this planet to all New Zealanders.

Cornelia served as the Center Director from 1998 – 2016. She led the development and implementation of national pilot programmes including the Confident Kids programme with the NZ National Police’s Youth Education Services; the Healthy Relationships interactive CD’s and online programmes for people with intellectual disabilities; and the Teenpower Violence Prevention Relationship Safety Project. In 2016, Fiona Bryan took on the position of National Executive Director enabling Cornelia to continue to focus on programme development.

Since 1993, thousands of people have benefited from our staff training for education, social service and law enforcement agencies. In addition parents, schools, colleges, Institutes of Technology, outdoor pursuit centers, clubs and community groups have accessed our educational resources. Our facilitators travel to bring services to all parts of New Zealand.


Our Vision

Our vision is a New Zealand-Aotearoa where all people are empowered to live, play, learn and work in safe communities free from harm and violence by empowering communities to foster healthy relationships through skills-based learning. We envisage a New Zealand where:

  • Parents and adults are aware and take responsibility of children’s, other vulnerable people’s and their own safety. They are role models teaching children skills and preparing them for a successful, fulfilling life with the aim of minimising or eliminating trauma and harm. Adults will also use these skills in the workplace to deal with colleagues and customers engaging in harmful behaviours.
  • Pre-schoolers learn to resolve conflict without aggression, understand their own and other people’s boundaries and persist in getting help when they need it.
  • Children at school learn skills to support themselves using their body language and voices to assert their boundaries; speaking out when things are wrong; persisting in getting help when needed and to de-escalating rather than rise to triggers.
  • Youth are alert and aware to signs of trouble, they make and adhere to a plan to stick with their friends e.g. if things go wrong at a party; they learn to set boundaries in new relationships and be emotionally resilient; they think first, take charge, de-escalate and walk away instead of resorting to violence and aggression.


Our Behavioural Aspirations

Empowerment Trust has four behavioural aspirations that are underpinned by our founding values. These connect to our streams of work and vision and mission – this is what we believe in and how we work!

Healthy Relationships 

We strive to empower our teams and partners to foster and model healthy relationships, honest communication, and empathy.

Safeguarding Culture 

We strive to be courageous, honest and pro-active to ensure the safety of others, whilst protecting the confidentiality of our clients.


We welcome people of any age, culture, religion, race, gender, political belief, sexual orientation, relationship status, ability, or income who share our vision, mission and values.
We are an inclusive team and recognise Māori as tangata whenua of Aotearoa.


We strive to continually engage in reflective practice to be responsive to the needs of our communities, whilst celebrating each step of the journey.


Our Team

Empowerment Trust also draws upon the experience and employs the expertise of thousands of people across the globe in everything we do. We contract facilitators to deliver our programmes across New Zealand, each one a vetted and valuable member of our team. We benefit from the foundation and ongoing support of Kidpower International which has served millions of people worldwide since 1989.


The Results and the Evidence

Empowerment Trust prides itself on supporting its work with feedback and data, including extensive studies by third parties. We don’t just use this research to justify our work, we use it to continually assess and update our practices and programmes to achieve the best possible outcome.

Let's Kōrero

Let's talk about primary prevention in our whānau, our communities, and Aotearoa. We're looking forward to hearing from you.

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