Vision Statement

"Consumer organisations are beacons of best practice, credible, professional, strong and successful."   

He Tipuana Nga Kakano Members  

Guy Baker - Consumer Leader, Tairawhiti

Ko Hikurangi te Maunga
Ko Waiapu te Awa
Ko Porourangi te Tangata
Ko Ngati Porou te Iwi
Ko Ngai Tane, nga Ngati Hau oku Hapu
Ko Hinepare, ko Hinetamatea oku Marae
Ko Percy Te Hira Baker rawa ko Te Anahera Pono Huhu taku matua
Ko Guy Baker ahau
He Consumer Leader mo Te Kupenga Network Trust


  • 1999 to 2000 - 18/24 credits Diploma of Business at Tairawhiti Polytechnic
  • 2009 to 2011 -  Bachelor of Iwi Environmental Management at Te Wananga O Aotearoa
  • 2013  - Diploma of Freshwater and Iwi Marine Studies at Te Wananga O Aotearoa

Sectors Linkages and Networks:

  • He Tipuana Nga Kakano
  • Tairawhiti Consumer Advisory Group
  • Extensive networks within mental health and addiction services in Tairawhiti
  • External networks through Gisborne District Council and the wider Te Tairawhiti region
  • Tairawhiti Mental Health NGO sector including: Te Kupenga Net Trust, Emerge Aotearoa, Turanga Health, Ngati Porou Hauora


I am 58yrs of age, the oldest of two children, who is married with 2 school aged daughters in Y7 and Y8. I was educated at Gisborne Boys High School before embarking on a career within the public service working in regional (Gisborne and Wellington) and head offices (Wellington) of the Department of Maori Affairs and the Department of Social Welfare. Returning home in 1990 I entered the hospitality industry and by 1999 when I left to pursue tertiary study I was Functions and Assistant Manager of a local hotel and function centre. I then acquired a position as manager of a chartered club before moving to the Gisborne District Council in the Liquor Licensing division. In 2009 I pursued further study towards my degree whilst still employed and in my third year of study was diagnosed with severe depression from which counsellors advised that I had been suffering from for a number of years and that it had probably been masked by alcohol. However, I completed the year gaining the honour of valedictorian by which time my journey to recovery had commenced.

I gained a passion towards the awareness of mental illness to lessen the stigma and discrimination that my family, friends and I had been subjected to. Participating in Council’s Employee Assistance Programme I became a peer support for work colleagues who were suffering some stressful times. I also availed myself to some speaking engagements at other work places, participated in Mental Health Awareness Week having my story published in the local newspaper and Like Minds Like Mine national newsletter, sharing my story on Turanga FM radio and wherever else I felt the message should be spread. It is therefore a natural progression that I now find myself actually working within the mental health sector and particularly with Maori who unfortunately have unbalanced statistics in this arena. I am committed to continue the role in promoting; recovery, social inclusion, human rights, self-advocacy and cultural responsiveness.

Skills that I Bring:

  • Lived experience and empathy with mental stress
  • High level of organisational skills
  • Computer literate with Microsoft applications
  • Experience with research and compilation of reports
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Established networks through District Council and the Tairawhiti region
  • Knowledge of Tikanga Maori
  • Possess a high degree of personal commitment and integrity
Herewini Rangi - Youth Peer Support & Advocacy, Tairawhiti


  • Suicide Intervention & Prevention
  • Currently studying - Mental Health & Addictions Certificate

Sector Linkages:

  • Tairawhiti District Health (TDH)
  • Te Whare Oranga (Gisborne Community Mental Health and Addictions)
  • Te Whare Awhi Ora (inpatient mental health)
  • Te Rito (Child, adolescent mental health)
  • Turanga Health
  • Recovery Solutions
  • Te Whare Awhiora (Ward 11)
  • Ngati Porou Hauora
  • Tairawhiti Consumer Advisory Group
  • Whanau support group


  • He Uri no te Kiingitanga o Waikato-Tainui
  • Schooled at Te wharekura o Rakaumanga, Played Rugby League for Taniwharau in Huntly 1984-2012
  • Played One Game- NZ Warriors 2004
  • Moved to Brisbane 2005-2008
  • Suffered a Spinal Injury playing Rugby League in 2008,
  • 60% recovered but really fortunate to be walking…
  • Back in the Tairawhiti enjoying life with my whanau and new work environment, Supporting Rangatahi in Mental Health and Addictions.
  • Completed some study, Certificate in Suicide Intervention Prevention
  • And currently studying a Certificate in Mental Health and Addiction Support work.


  • Maori leadership
  • Youth and adolescent focus and networks
  • Male perspective
  • Humble approach to people
  • Willing to learn
Isaac Phillips - Consumer Support & Service Navigator, Lakes

Issac PhillipsRole: Consumer Support & Service Navigator

  • Working toward completing Level 4 in Mental Health & Addictions support work
  • Facilitates LBGTI Group with Linkage

Sector Linkages:

  • New to working in the field but working with local providers, I am hoping to learn more as part of this group
  • Part of the Rainbow youth support network in Auckland

Profile:Twenty two years of age and has been in recovery for over a year.  Currently working with Linkage Trust in Lakes area, Rotorua and have family working in this sector based in Auckland.  Previous employment has been in hairdressing.

Skills: I have lived experience of recovery from Mental Health and Addictions as well as whanau experience. Whilst I do not have leadership experience I am willing to learn.

Donna Starling - Consumer Leader & Navigator, Lakes 

Donna StarlingCredentials: 18 years clean and sober and actively helping others

Sector Linkages & Networks:

  • Dave Keightley-Phillips, Psychologist (have supported some of his clients).
  • Te Utuhina Manaakitanga Trust (as a client and a member of their consumer panel).
  • Regularly attend meetings for my own recovery as well as helping others "walk the walk".  A privilege to know a lot of people in recovery circles.
  • Dress for Success (inspirational service & client contact).
  • New networks & contacts will be made in my new role.


I am Rotorua born and breed and love it here. My priorities are whanau/friends and helping (serving) others.  My background is Quality, Auditing, H&S (incident/accident investigations) and training.  More recently I have made a career change and am studying towards a qualification in Mental Health & Addiction Level 4.  This is the path I aspire to travel down.  My passion/purpose is recovery.

Skills that I bring:

  • Personal experience of mental health & addiction (initially sought help at the age of 24).  I can provide a consumer / service user perspective.
  • I come with bright, new, fresh ideas and energy.  I like to ask lots of questions and if I am unsure I will seek clarification.
  •  I enjoy developing and improving services (where necessary).
  • I have strong leadership skills, can communicate well/effectively and enjoy developing relationships with people from all walks of life.
Julie Kneebone - Consumer Development Advisor, Waikato
Julie KneeboneCredentials:
  • Lived experience Certificate in Community & Social work
  • Certificate in Mental Health Support Work
  • Certificate in Psychiatric Nursing Care 2
  • Certificate in Adult Teaching Diploma Sport and Recreation
  • Consumer Auditor training
  • Post Graduate Certificate Professional Supervision (1 paper to complete 2014)

Sector Linkages: In the mid-eighties I set up Hamilton Psychiatric Survivors which was the foundation peer network group in the Waikato. Over several years this group established funding to expand the consumer movement; this peer group became known as Centre 401. At the same time I was a member of the former Aotearoa Network of Psychiatric Survivor (ANOPS) I have maintained both professional and personal relationships with many service users, peer groups/organisations. I am a currently a member of the Local Advisory group (LAG) and hold the position as deputy chair.

Profile: My greatest achievement is being the proud mother of my 9 year old son, who gives me much joy and plenty of rewards. I love being involved in all his learning opportunities and sporting achievements.

For the past seven years, in a Consumer Advisory role at Waikato DHB, I have been a part of many service wide strategic initiatives, such as leading consumer roles in seclusion debriefing, by partnering with Progress to Health as part of Waikato DHB overall strategy to reduce and eliminate seclusion, active involvement in the formation of integrated care pathways, MDTs, family inclusive practice, service agreements to improve interagency relationships, membership on clinical governance and  contributions towards operational and service change by advocating service user perspective at all levels.

At the heart of it all, my work is about having a "can do positive attitude", and a willingness to work alongside colleagues and peer groups, with belief in yourself to provide leadership and advice to improve opportunities and quality of life for service users and service wide  improvements.

My passion is in workforce development, facilitating recovery based training to Waikato DHB staff using a collaborative educational approach, and to mentor the development of other services user’s roles in the participation and delivery of recovery focused mental health education. I see the strength and value in working in partnership with other professionals and consumer groups, to align workforce development needs with Waikato DHB organisational strategic plan.


  • Strong communication skills both verbal and written.
  • Compassionate
  • Facilitation &  Adult Teaching
  • Peer leadership
  • Strong relationship working with  Te Puna Oranga Kaiakawaenga
  • Project Lead
  • Negotiation
  • Public speaking
  • Decision making
  • Clear understanding of the role and functions of managed networks
Melody Jaesister - Peer Support Specialist (Careers), Bay of Plenty

Melody JaesisterCredentials

  • Bachelor of Social Sciences majoring in psychology, University of Waikato, 1998
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of Waikato, 2002
  • Certificate in Mental Health and Addiction Support Work, Level 4 2014
  • Certificate in Whanau Tu Whanau Ora Training, Nga Mataapuna Oranga PHO, 2015
  • Certificate in Intentional Peer Support, Balance Whanganui, 2016
  • Co-presented ‘The Convergence of Career and Mental Health’ paper, THeMHS Conference, 2016

Sector Linkages and Networks

Extensive networks within mental health and addiction services, including Turning Point Trust, Junction Peer Support and Advocacy, Community Mental Health, Vincent House Recovery Trust, Linc Support Services, Family Link, Tauranga Grief Support Services, Hanmer Clinic Tauranga, Bay Of Plenty Addiction Services, Salvation Army Tauranga Addiction Services, Te Manu Toroa, Bay of Plenty Sexual Assault Support Service, Tauranga Moana Night Shelter, Problem Gambling Foundation, and other NGO’s and peer networks.


I provide career support for people with experience of mental health or addiction issues, within a community based mental health and addiction service.  This is a peer support role where my work at the convergence of mental health and career brings together my lived experience of anxiety and PTSD with my formal qualifications.

Skills that I bring

  • Understanding of national and regional drivers and the need for mental health funding and service provision to respond effectively across populations.  Particularly interested in the effects of the labour market, and how to overcome self and external stigma
  • Analytical and strategic, having developed client-focused systems for a mental health recovery service, a housing corporation, and a strata law consultancy
  • Personal experience of overcoming the negative effects of severe anxiety and PTSD.  Confident and experienced advocate, good at building networks and supporting people through personal and organisational transformation
Jade Dix - Assistant Manager & Consumer Advisor, Taranaki

Jade DixCredentials:

  • National Cert in Business Administration L4.
  • National Cert in Computing L4.
  • QPR Gatekeeper Foundational Training: Suicide Screening Course.
  • QPR Advance Triage and Suicide Risk Management Course.
  • The Foundations of Facilitation Development Programme – Phoenix Facilitation.

Sector Linkages:

  • Salvation Army National Consumer Advisor Network.
  • Supporting Families in Mental Illness.
  • Building Bridges Facilitator.
  • Needle Exchange Midland Network.
  • TDHB AOD Advisory Network.
  • Taranaki Consumer and Family Advisors Network.

Having been a user of services and working for both the Bridge program and the Needle Exchange, I have knowledge of how systems work or not and access to numerous people in which to gather feedback on any issues presented.

Profile:  Greetings, I am a born and bred Taranaki girl, my people whakapapa back to Parihaka being members of Taranaki and Te Atiawa iwi. I am a Mother, partner, Grandmother of one beautiful moko who is almost 2 and a Coast Guard volunteer for the past 4 years.   I was on OST for around 9 years. I have worked for the Needle Exchange for 7 years. Prior to working for the Needle Exchange, I was a legal secretary for 2 years in a family law practise.   I have been working as a Consumer Advisor for the Salvation Army for 3 years and I also co facilitate a workshop via Supporting Families which helps people to speak to the stigma and discrimination they experienced when utilising Mental Health and/or Addiction services. These brave souls then go and speak about their experiences to 2nd year nursing students at WITT here in New Plymouth.

Skills that I bring:

  • I have live experience of Addiction from both a personal and a whanau point of view.
  • Empathy towards others.
  • Willingness to listen, ask questions and learn.  Open minded.
  • Effective communication on the rescue vessel is crucial.  I have the ability to communicate with people from various backgrounds: Clients, Clinicians, and Managers, Gang members, co-workers, crewmates, teammates and peers. For me people are people.  I am able to communicate via written report or orally.
  • Working as part of a team to promote change and gently influence others.
  • Facilitating Client Groups. Provide mechanism for feedback loop via report to Director who responds to the report and I then feed that back to the group.
  • Participated in the development of the National Family/Whanau Participation policy.
  • Currently drafting a local procedure for the National Policy for Family/Whanau Participation for the Bridge program.
  • Participated on quality review groups for the S.A Re:
    • Recognition of Maori Values and Beliefs.
    • Maori values and Beliefs.
    • Maori Health Policy and Plan.
    • Recognition of Cultural Beliefs.
    • Cultural Beliefs and Practises.
    • Koha.
  • Participated in Consumer quality review group for the S.A Re:
    • Client Rights during Service Delivery.
    • Visitors.
    • Links with Family/Whanau and Other Community Resources.
  • Able and willing to review Policy and Procedure.  I am very interested in having the opportunity to review and provide feedback on National documents.

I am really keen to be a part of He Tipuana Nga Kakano, not only to develop new skills but because I’m passionate about the people within the Mental Health and AOD sectors who don’t feel like they have a voice  In my own experience, I know that the voice of the client is second-guessed in some cases. I am also aware that the statistics for Maori using Mental Health and or Addiction Services is alarmingly disproportionate to the rest of our population as is their rate of incarceration.


Other Members

  • Arana Pearson
  • Brendon Dolman

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He Tipuana Nga Kakano is supported by the Midland Regional Mental Health & Addictions Network Team:

  • Eseta Nonu-Reid - Midland MH&A Region Director
  • Akatu Marsters - Midland MH&A Business Support Coordinator
  • Steve Neale - Midland MH&A Workforce Planning Lead