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Father with daughters lying on the floor

About Us

Our Mission

To enhance the health and well-being of society by focusing on positive ways of being for men and boys, through promoting educational programmes, public awareness, leadership, community development and research. 

Essentially Men Mission
Men at Work

Our Goal

Thousands of men from all over New Zealand and all walks of life have found this outstanding programme a powerful catalyst for renewal and change. So will you. You will build trust and feel safe. You will get a deeper understanding of yourself and will leave with the freedom to be the authentic you.

These are not just talking workshops – they are potent experiences that will wake you up, give you skills, and change your life.

Our History

Rex McCann

Rex McCann - Founder

It seems a long time ago since our first Essentially Men circle in 1991. Rex had already travelled many miles on his journey; working the coal-face with wounded inmates, creating men’s retreats and many hours of personal growth and reflection, all the while honing his craft.

Inspired by the men’s work in America, Rex organised to go and hang out with Robert Bly and other men’s movement shakers. He returned with a fire burning in his young mans’ soul.

Having been blessed by these older men Rex set about bringing Essentially Men into being. A group of good men acted as a sounding board while Rex clarified his vision.


In early 2013, Rex made the decision that this was the right moment to make the shift away from a pioneer lead model of leadership into a more collaborative community style. At this time he stepped back from involvement with Essentially Men. 

The trust is now privileged to have many men (and the support of many women) who are strongly committed, with a high degree of competence in what they are doing. 

At the centre of our culture is keeping the heart alive. The reason we have lasted so well is that we keep renewing the call for men to be real and come from the heart. That is the unique note we sound for society. 

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