Self-directed rehabilitation, using a ‘Take Charge session’, has been shown to be a powerful, practical, low-cost strategy for improving outcomes for Maori and Pacific people after stroke. For every 10 people using the strategy, one more person is independent in basic daily activities at 12 months. We will study the same intervention in 400 non-Maori, non-Pacific people after stroke (85% of the stroke population) in a randomised controlled trial with three arms: a single ‘Take Charge session’ to facilitate self-directed rehabilitation, two sessions (one 6 weeks after the first), and a control group receiving a stroke pamphlet. The intervention will be delivered 6 to 12 weeks after the stroke and the primary outcome will be health-related quality of life 12 months after the stroke. If similarly effective in this group, and applied to all community stroke survivors, 500 fewer people per year will be dependent on others.