Empowering the under-served in our own backyard


$0 In Services

Dental Patients

Dental Services

Optometry Services**

*2021 - 2024 Statistics for clinics run with TKDC Clinics in NZ.


The Trinity Koha Dental Clinic (TKDC) brings mobile dental clinics to underserved New Zealand communities to help relieve urgent oral health needs. This is YSA’s response to our obligation to our own community here in New Zealand. We cannot sit back and wait for the government to solve the issue of oral health in our communities. Now is the time for us to act. Together we can meet the needs of our own people. Together we can empower a healthy future right here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

TKDC is a collaboration between YSA and our platinum partner, Trinity Lands Limited along with many other groups and individuals. We partner with regional dental associations, businesses, NZ registered dentists, local health providers and community groups. Working together, we meet the emergency oral needs of our community while also educating people on how to better care for their teeth. 

Volunteerism is a key driver of the TKDC. We are able to deliver the koha-based services because of an army of volunteers who give their time and talents with no expectation of remuneration. As kiwis, we are at our best when we give of ourselves to help others. 



YSA was catalysed out of the extravagant gift, in 2019, of a 48m container vessel from Stoney Creek Shipping, the MV YWAM KOHA. When COVID restrictions destroyed our 2020 plans, the YSA board revisited our purpose and mission. Out of this came a desire to operate in our primary focus of empowering a healthy future for the Pacific, within our own nation. Instead of focusing on what we couldn’t do, the board looked at what we could do. The conclusion of this process was to place our dental container on a truck and use it on land. Out of questions of who needs our help and where could we go, the five-week pilot programme for TKDC was birthed.  

It is fair to say that the oral health needs we found far surpassed our capacity to deliver. Within days in each location, all appointments were filled. One patient in Western BOP was in so much pain that he had already pulled out several of his own teeth. The dentist that day extracted five more untreatable teeth. At the same clinic, a father arrived with his young son. They had waited six months for treatment of a septic tooth but to no avail. The team rushed the young boy into the dental container, and the dentist was able to give instant relief from the baby tooth that had rotted in his mouth.

It is stories like these, and the many examples of needless suffering we have seen that have been instrumental in our decision to continue with the Trinity Koha Dental Clinics. 

YWAM Ships Aotearoa (YSA) is driven to empowering a healthy future for all of the Pacific. We believe all people have value, worth and purpose, and should have access to the basic necessities of life. 

Where access to these basic necessities does not exist, we are obligated to act. Our communities and our region is our responsibility. 



The ongoing success of these clinics is dependent on three things coming together:

  1. The clinics are only successful when there is a partnership between YSA and a local health provider that is connected to the needs within their own community. If you want to partner with us and invite us to your community, we want to hear from you.
  2. Services can only be provided when we have financial support to purchase the equipment needed. If you want to financially partner with us to deliver these clinics, we look forward to hearing from you
  3. The greatest hindrance to providing these services is the availability of New Zealand registered dentists, assistants and hygienists. We are grateful for those in the dental community who have volunteered their skills. We look forward to seeing many more offer the expertise to meet the great need in our communities.