• 1964
  • 18 January

    The Christchurch Methodist Community Mission Superintendent Rev W. A. Falkingham was studying social work programmes in Australia and discovered that Sydney was preparing to launch a Telephone Ministry using a name coined from the newspaper ‘ a Life Line for Sydney’.

  • 30 June
    The First Call

    Geof Hill took the first New Zealand Life Line call, answering the call to 32-370 with the words “This is Life Line. May we help you?”

  • 1 July
    Lifeline Christchurch Launched

    On 1st July Lifeline Christchurch was officially launched to provide personal and telephone counselling to those in need and services the Mid and North Canterbury regions, Kaikoura, Christchurch city, and the West Coast.

  • October
    Early Beginnings Of Lifeline Auckland

    In Auckland, a group of ministers of various denominations, driven by Dr D.O. Williams met together to organise a counselling centre in the new Methodist building on Queen Street.

  • 1965
  • May
    The Interchurch Counselling Centre Opened

    Based on Queen Street, the office operated with a face to face team, and an outreach team for people in crisis. It was then decided to incorporate a telephone counselling service to be known as the Samaritan Lifeline in Auckland.

  • 1966
  • 21 February
    Auckland Lifeline Opens

    With 80 volunteer telephone counsellors, it covered the free calling area of greater Auckland, and the Hibiscus Coast.

  • December
    Lifeline Christchurch Became A 24hour Service

  • 1967
  • November
    Lifeline Invercargill Established

    Later adopted the name ‘Southland’.

  • 1970
  • July
    Lifeline Hawkes Bay Established

    Based in Taradale about halfway between Napier and Hastings and covered the free-calling area of Hawkes Bay. Originally there were Centres in both Napier and Hastings.

  • 1970
  • January
    The Surviving Loss By Homicide Group Was Started In Auckland

  • 1971
  • March
    Youthline Begins

    Sponsored by Lifeline to cater for the needs of young people up to the age of 25. A team of 26 people aged 18-25 provided help to other young people struggling with dilemmas of adolescence.

  • 1972
  • October
    Lifeline Whangarei Opens

    Lifeline Whangarei opened a helpline and face to face service and covered the largely urban area of Whangarei, and financed a free-phone service from Wellsford in the south, through Cape Reinga in the north, and across to both the east and west coasts.

  • 1974
  • March
    Lifeline Nelson Established

    Servicing the free calling area of Nelson; provided a free-phone service from Murchison in the South to Collingwood in the North West.

  • 1975
  • February
    Rev W.A Falkingham Honoured With An M.B.E

    In her birthday honours, the Queen honoured the founder of Lifeline Christchurch Rev W.A Falkingham with an M.B.E for his work in the social services field.

  • 1977
  • March
    Christchurch Approach Changed

    Christchurch redirected their approach to prevention rather than assistance after client suicide numbers increased.

  • May
    Auckland Lifeline Moves To Airedale Street

    Lifeline Auckland moved to new premises at the ‘open circle’ on Airedale Street. For the first time the Face to Face service and the Telephone helplines where combined into the same building.

  • September
    Dr D.O. Williams Given O.B.E

    The founder of Auckland Lifeline was given the O.B.E for his work.

  • 1981
  • April
    Lifeline Pukekohe Established

  • October
    Christchurch Gets Third Line And Teleprinter Service

    A third line was installed in Christchurch and Lifeline began a Teleprinter service linking the profoundly deaf with the hearing world.

  • 1982
  • June
    Rev W. Falkingham Retired

    Upon his retirement there was 8 Lifeline centres in New Zealand which where a direct result of his foresight.

  • October
    Lifeline South Canterbury Established

    Based in Timaru.

  • 1983
  • July
    Teleprinter Line Introduced

    Enabling the Auckland Lifeline counsellors to attend to the many practical problems on behalf of the deaf community.

  • 1984
  • February
    Lifeline Marlborough Established

    Located in Blenheim and covered the free-calling area that extended from Kekerengu to the south, the Rai Valley in the west, and the Marlborough Sounds to the north.

  • 1986
  • January
    Lifeline Wairarapa Established

    Based in Masterton, the centre was originally known as South Wairarapa, and was based in Carterton, but dropped ‘South’ when the Samaritan centre in Masterton closed. Covered as far north as Eketahuna, and as far south as Featherston, and all the towns in between.

  • May


  • December
    Dr D.O. Williams Of Auckland Lifeline Passed Away

  • 1988
  • June
    Kidsline Begins

    Kidsline began in Auckland for children aged between 9- and 13 to call between the hours of 4pm and 6pm.

  • 1990
  • February
    Lifeline Auckland Moves

    Auckland Lifeline moved into rent free space provided by Presbyterian Support Northern at 95 Great South Road, Remuera where it is still located today.

  • 1992
  • January
    Lifeline Waikato Established

    Located in Hamilton and serviced the Greater Waikato, King Country, Thames, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty – including both small urban and rural communities.

  • 1993
  • March
    Chinese Lifeline Began

    Offering limited hour’s service in Cantonese and Mandarin based in the Auckland centre.

  • July
    Lifeline Tairawhiti Established

    Based in Gisborne and closed down 12 months later.

  • 1996
  • September
    Lifeline Otago Established

    Based in Dunedin.

  • 1998
  • January
    Gambling Helpline Launched

    Lifeline launched a 24 hour helpline for problem gamblers

  • March
    Lifeline Auckland Gets PTE Status

    Lifeline Auckland was provided with PTE status (NZQA Accreditation as a private training establishment)

  • 1999
  • February
    Kidsline Opens In Christchurch

    Christchurch Lifeline opened its 0800 Kidsline service in line with the Auckland Centre.

  • 2001
  • August
    Lifeline Southland Ceased To Be A Member Of Lifeline NZ

  • 2002
  • March
    Chinese Lifeline Gets National 0800 Number

  • 2004
  • February
    Lifeline Pukekohe Closes

  • December
    Lifeline Otago Closed

  • 2005
  • April
    FAC’s 211 Line Commences

    FAC’s 211 Line began in Bay of Plenty with Youthline as pilot (MSD Funded), incorporating SHINE, and Family Violence Information Line.

  • September
    Lifeline South Canterbury Closed

  • 2006
  • July
    National Depression Initiative Contract Awarded To Auckland

    This included the National Depression Helpline & future services that will offer text, emails, phone and web chat modalities.

  • 2009
  • January
    Suicide Prevention Education Programmes Adapted

    Livingworks Suicide Prevention education programmes adapted and delivered nationally to include bi-cultural content.

  • March
    New Contracts Introduced

    Warmline (ADHB Contract) & Victims of Crime line introduced to Auckland.

  • 2010
  • August
    MSD Fund The Canterbury Earthquake Support Line

  • October
    Christchurch Lifeline Opens Email Counselling Services

  • 2011
  • April
    Suicide Crisis Helpline Launched

    Launch of 0508 TAUTOKO (Lifeline funded service with media campaign through Maori Television aimed at Maori population).

  • 2012
  • October
    Auckland Office Refurbished

    ASB Community Trust funds a full refurbishment of Great South Road offices.

  • October
    Prison Helpline Pilot

    Three month pilot for ‘Prison Helpline’ partnership with Northern Region corrections Facility.

  • 2013
  • 1 April
    Lifeline Launch Rebranding

  • 1 July
    ACC Contract Awarded

    Face to Face services awarded Sensitive Claims ACC contract for services in 5 regions.

  • 23 December
    Lifeline Merge

    Eight of the nine Lifeline affiliated offices merge to form one single Lifeline Aotearoa with a support head office in Great South Road. These include Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Wairarapa, Marlborough and Christchurch. One single telephony and database platform are established. Lifeline Nelson vote to stay independent and change name to Life Linc.

  • 2015
  • 1 April
    Chinese Lifeline Closes

  • 1 June
    Lifeline Whangarei Closes


  • 2016
  • 6 February
    NZQA Approved Programme For Kidsline

    Kidsline launched NZQA Approved Gateway Youth Development Programme in Christchurch.

  • 12 May
    Christchurch Branch Moves Premises

  • June
    Radical Restructure Announced

    All branches except Waikato, Christchurch and Auckland close. Kidsline restructure with minimised team, and funding situation (1 year reserve), made public.

  • 1 July
    Wairarapa & Taranaki Branches Closed

  • 1 December
    Lifeline Merge With Presbyterian Support Northern (PSN)

    One of the largest non-government organisations in the health and social service sector, PSN, committed to 18 months of operational support while looking to also help solve Lifeline’s long-term funding issues.

  • 2018
  • May
    Text Support Launched

    Lifeline launched its free text support service – HELP (4357) as part of its suicide prevention strategy to increase access to support for people in distress.

  • 2020
  • December
    Kidsline merges with Barnardos 0800 Whatsup

    Child-centred helpline Kidsline joined Barnardos, complementing its existing 0800 What’s Up telephone counselling and webchat service.