Ember Services Board

Erica Hodgson


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.

John Burns


I have over 25 years experience in Information Technology and have worked across New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the US where I was the majority shareholder of a software company. Currently a self employed IT consultant and trainer, I have a passion for sharing knowledge and helping others develop their business skills.

I look forward to bringing strong business experience, and a passion for strategy and innovation to the Services Board.

I am an external advisor on the ICT Governance Committee for SpectrumCare Trust Board, a charity providing care and support for children, young people and adults with disabilities, and am a member of the Institute of Directors.

I have lived experience with mental health issues, and am passionate about being able to work with Ember Korowai Takitini and the services it offers to our communities.

I am married to Denise and have 3 “grown up” children, I like to read and I prefer to be outside when I can. I play the odd game of golf very badly and I have also been banned from playing the guitar when anyone is at home as it disturbs the animals  (among which there are 3 dogs, 1 cat and several chickens).

Derek Wright


I have a prestigious and long career, locally and internationally in the Mental Health and Addictions sector. Within New Zealand I was the National Lead for Mental Health and Addictions until April 2019. I am the author of the 1997 initial report that later became the Mental Health Commission, Blueprint for Mental Health Services, New Zealand. Variously I have been a Trustee for Careerforce and Platform as well as Co -Chair of Navigate and Chair of the Australian National Mental Health Framework Modelling Group. Recently within New Zealand I have led development of Creating Our Futures, Model of Care for new Adult Acute Services, Package of Care in Lakes, Respite Services in Lakes and Northland and many other leading initiatives. I am delighted and excited to be bringing my skills sets to support a progressive company like Ember Korowai Takitini as part of its governance.

Ainslie Dewe


I began my career as an industrial chemist and have worked in library and information services in university, medical and public libraries in New Zealand, Australia and the UK. I have been Head of Digital Practice at Auckland Museum and I am currently assisting with work on the Museum’s Research Strategy.
I have strong public sector experience and I have served as a Director on University-owned companies, always mindful of the particular governance responsibility that this entailed.
As President of Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa I was privileged to chair a Project Team for Te Ara Tika, a project researching Māori information needs. This theme continued whilst Chair of the Library and Information Advisory Commission, a role which deepened my understanding of Mātauranga Māori. I have been fortunate to work with many dedicated Māori library professionals and have learned much from them about the richness and importance of indigenous knowledge systems
My journey from the laboratory in an asbestos-cement factory to the medical library of a large teaching hospital and now researching issues around indigenous data sovereignty has been guided by a common theme - a passion for the potential that access to knowledge has to empower the individual and to change lives.
This is a perspective that I feel I can bring to the Ember Services Board.

Fuimaono Tuiasau

Board Member

O le ala o le pule o le tautua.
The road to leadership is the road of service
I have extensive experience in strategic planning, organisational management and have held leadership roles in national and smaller NGOS from the NZ Stroke Foundation, NZ Youth Mentoring and NZ Transparency International.
I was a senior lawyer for many years in Wellington and Auckland practicing in litigation, youth advocacy and mental health law. I have chaired many NFP mental health organisations and worked in senior roles in the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Pacific Peoples and the SCC Open Government Partnerships. 'My own lived experience of mental health is a big part of my commitment to Ember and the services we deliver'
I am happily married, a proud grandfather who likes good food, reading, classical music and hip hop. I am a Samoan matai with the title Fuimaono Atanoa from the aiga Leisiolagi of Falealili, Samoa.

Brody Runga


An experienced leader in mental health and addictions. I combine lived experience with professional competence in my work to deliver creative transformation within the sector. A large part of my early career happened in Counties Manukau where I provided input into the development of DRIVE, Mahi Marumaru and Puna Whakataa at a time when Counties was establishing services that were better aligned to the needs of the local population. In 2019 I was an invitational speaker at the AOD Leadership Forum at the Parliamentary Building.

Lyn Murphy


I have an extensive history of community service and I use this practical experience to build unique relevance to my directorship appointments. With a diverse academic background in education, health, psychology, management and accounting I bring over 20 years’ experience serving on a number of New Zealand boards including local body and government directorships.
I have strong professional, government and community links and well established international networks in the public administration, health and education sectors. I care passionately about the successful development of New Zealand business, use my natural leadership skills to promote a supportive and collegiate environment with my colleagues and relish the idea of using my governance skills in new and existing board positions.

John Marsden CNZM


I have had a long and varied career started at the Bank of New Zealand, where I stayed for 24 years.
From there, I moved to the Ministry of Education where I encouraged young people into training and apprenticeships.
After that, I moved into health, putting in two years as a manager at Starship Children's Hospital before helping to set up the Māori health provider for Ngāti Whātua.
I now work at Te Puna Hauora, a Māori health provider on Auckland's North Shore.
People involvement has always been the reward for me – dealing with people and working for people,
In all jobs I've had dealing with people has been the highlight – particularly people who are finding life difficult to contend with. I am humbled to sit on the Board of Ember Korowai Takitini - I have been connected to them before they were formed and as kaumātua I help to guide and protect their connections to tāngata whaiora of all origins