- Mental health and addiction helpline
Call or text 1737
Call 0800 543 354
or text 4357
Call 0800 376 633
or text 234
It is a great pleasure being part of the Ember family. My background was initially in veterinary clinical practice after which I held a number of roles in the primary, secondary and tertiary health care sectors including GM Clinical Support Services at the Waikato DHB, CEO of Integrated Care IT company HSAGlobal, GM of Presbyterian Support (Northern) aged care operations and Executive Director of a healthcare Real Estate Investment Trust.
I currently chair the Boards of Tiro Medical and Upstream Medical Technologies and am a Director of The NZ institute for Minerals to Materials Research and Deputy Chair of the NZ Institute for Plant and Food Research.
I have been married to Anne for 45 years and we have three adult ‘children’ and at last count 5 grandchildren.
I joined Ember Wellbeing Trust at its inception having previously been on the Connect Supporting Recovery board of trustees as the Treasurer, since April 2015. As a chartered accountant I also lead the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee for the Trust.
I have long held the view that everyone deserves to be heard and supported, particularly through the tougher times, as they navigate their life journey, so they can be the best that they can be. Living that ethos in my working life led me to complete eight years with Spectrum Care, a disability support provider before relocating to Christchurch in September 2020. I now contract with another disability support provider Brackenridge Service Ltd.
In my non-work time I love spending time with family and friends, particularly when cooking and food is involved. I also enjoy a variety of crafts from sewing and knitting to gardening and minor home renovations. When possible I travel and whilst overseas travel is tricky at the moment, I am satisfying the travel bug by exploring and rediscovering New Zealand.
I am an occupational therapist who has worked in mental health for over 15 years. I have worked clinically alongside people in settings from community to residential and forensic. I then focused on quality assurance and clinical education and moved into organisational development across a whole DHB. Two projects I am very proud of managing were a project to extend basic talking therapy provision as a skill set to all mental health staff, and as Professional Advisor for OT embedding the practice of sensory modulation into services to support people’s recovery.
I am the past chair of Connect prior to our merge and currently deputy chair of the Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand. I am also mum to a 2 and 4 year old who drive me in my work towards improving health outcomes for all New Zealanders and reducing stigma and discrimination.
My career seems diverse but throughout all of it is innovation for positive social change and I walk in both scholarly and practitioner worlds simultaneously. I’m a lecturer in innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland Business School and hold a PhD in social entrepreneurship.
My research focuses on forms of enterprise and investment that seeks to create more sustainable and inclusive economies. And my personal entrepreneurship does the same. I founded an impact investment organisation, Soul Capital, that invests in companies that create a demonstrable social/environmental impact alongside a financial return.
I sit on the Ember Trust board and am chair of the board Ember Innovations, our subsidiary innovations, and ventures company. I also sit on the National Advisory Board for Impact Investing.
I am a New Zealand born Tongan raised in South Auckland and currently living in Hamilton. I have over 20 years of governance and broad commercial experience that includes numerous projects between New Zealand and the Pacific region concerning trade and investment promotion and facilitation, international research expeditions, public relations, government and NGO advisory. My previous management experience is in the IT, SME and social services sectors.
Currently I sit on the boards of Habitat for Humanity NZ, Vitae NZ, Bowel Cancer NZ and Chairs NZ Tonga Business Council, Waikato Women’s Fund and the Waikato Pacific Business Network. She sits on various boards and executive committees including the Institute of Directors, Waikato.
My authentic Pacific governance and leadership is underpinned by her values of integrity, goodwill and excellence to strategically influence and encourage diverse thinking to ‘bridge build’ for the purposes of economic development and prosperity for communities, businesses and government for global impact.
I am a 2017 Global Woman Breakthrough Leader and a NZ Institute of Directors Chartered member.
Ember Innovations is the newest entity within the Ember Group, supporting entrepreneurial initiatives that boost the wellbeing of people in Aotearoa.
Its board of Directors are dedicated to providing governance to ensure that Ember Innovations delivers its mission to support start-ups, build a pipeline of entrepreneurs and to catalyse capital.
- Jamie Newth (Chair)
- Ofeina Manuel-Barbarich
- Dan Khan(not pictured)
- Alison Taylor
- Colin Hayes
- Tuihana Ohia
- Darryl Bishop
- Spencer Beazley
- Ruth Borrett