Ember Services Board
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.
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.
It's a wonderful privilege to be part of the Ember team. At present I serve as the elected Auckland Councillor for the residents of Manukau. Previously I have worked as a broadcaster, published research on youth gangs, lectured in teacher education and facilitated training on leadership, youth mentoring and cultural competency. I bring the skills of effective communication, cultural intelligence and strategic leadership to the governance of Ember. I am of Samoan heritage, married to Fia and we have a young daughter. We live in Otahuhu, attend a local church and enjoy the playgrounds and swimming pool.
I have a clinical background as a Registered Nurse, culminating my nursing career as Chief Nurse, followed by 30+ years in executive level health management roles.
I am now enjoying semi-retirement through supporting local community based Maori organisations, providing governance and stewardship; allowing me to contribute my learnt skills and 44 years of experience in the health sector.
My skill set includes a broad and deep understanding of population health planning and funding, with emphasis on improving equity of health outcomes for Maori, across mental health, addiction and disability services and public health programmes.
With 30years experience in executive leadership roles, I bring a strong understanding of what makes for effective Board- Executive relationships.
My professional career included contributing on various Regional and National “expert working parties”, providing leadership, advice and governance roles . A highlight was my appointment by the Minister of Health as Chairman of the NZ Nurse Practitioner Workforce Development Committee.
Married for 40+ years, a husband, father to three adult children and a Papa to three mokopuna, time is split between various governance roles, actively supporting local conservation programmes at Te Whara Bream Head Reserve as a trapper; fishing, surfing and half-marathon races.
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.
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).
My professional background has led to different roles within the community. I have worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities, as a kaiāwhina at Te Kohanga Reo o Nga Tikanga Pono, as a Te Reo Māori teacher to whanau and staff at Rosmini College, and I have tutored Kapa Haka at Northcote College. I currently work at a kaupapa Maori health and social services organisation called Te Puna Hauora o Te Raki Paewhenua. Initially, I worked as an Iwi Support worker which included the facilitation of community and kaupapa Maori programmes with whānau wanting mental health support, advice, and education. My current role is the Whanau Ora projects manager. This involves leading collective impact initiatives across Maori health providers in Auckland, and supporting whānau within the North Shore and Kaipara areas to build capacity and capability through innovative Whānau Ora initiatives.
There are many of us like myself, my whānau and friends whose lives have been affected by mental health. It was my own experiences that initiated my passion for supporting others who have been in similar situations and I have since spent four years supporting whānau in their journey of lived experience. I am passionate about Te Ao Maori, the aspirations of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and offer a lens that is people focussed.
I am currently on the Uruamo Maranga Ake Marae Committee, a local community group supporting a dream that is over fifty years old to have a community marae in Beach Haven, North Shore.
I enjoy quality whānau time, watching and participating in sports and kapa haka, listening to music and spending time amongst nature. I am in my second year of a Bachelors of Arts majoring in Psychology and Maori studies at Massey University.
From a background in administration, I worked for many years in medical management, as Business Manager for a group of Ophthalmologists, then moving to Accident and Emergency where I managed a large practice in Onehunga, before moving to White Cross and managing several locations across Auckland. In 2014 I changed my career path to Funeral Directing and continue to work as a Funeral Director at Forrest Funeral Services in Browns Bay.
With 18 years in business and retail management, I developed governance skills along the way, representing senior management in board meetings, and working extensively in change management within the medical industry. I completed the Governance Essentials course with Institute of Directors in 2017. I was elected to the Board in 2015 having had lived experience in mental health, as well as family members who have experienced mental distress.
Throughout the years I studied religion and spirituality, leading to me owning a spiritual gift shop in Devonport from 2003 to 2013. Through my work and studies I met many interesting people, many of whom were creative and vibrant, who continue to inspire me today.