Meet Guy Baker, Chair of Midland Consumer Leadership Network - He Tipuana Nga Kakano

The Midland region prides itself in providing a forum for those affected with mental health and addiction issues to "have a say".  He Tipuana Nga Kakano - "Growing the Seeds" is the Midland Regional Consumer Leadership Network which was established in 2001 to provide strategic advice and leadership with a particular focus on consumer participation.

We asked the chair of this group "Guy Baker" some questions about his role and commitment to consumers.

Tell us a little about yourself and how you first become involved with the Midland Consumer Leadership Network - He Tipuana Nga Kakano?

I worked for the District Council for 11years.  During this time I made two decisions about my life and was diagnosed with severe depression.  During my recovery I was privy to take part in Council's EAP which eventually led me to be a peer support at work.  This aroused my interest in working within mental health.  I then was offered the position of Consumer Leader which lead to representation to He Tipuana Nga Kakano.

What was your first impression of the regional network?

Overwhelming.  I was appointment in October and attended my first meeting with He Tipuana Nga Kakano in November leaving that hui as the new Chairperson and consequently a seat on the national forum Nga Hau E Wha.  This has become a huge challenge for me.

What do you find most challenging about regional issues for consumers?

That there are many differences within the region that require local solutions and these challenges are managed with diverse approaches.

As chair of this network, what is your expectation from stakeholders on this group?

To take local and regional issues to a national forum - this allows for a consumer voice to be heard at all levels.

What would you like to say to Consumers / Whaiora whom you represent as a network and chair of the Midland Consumer Leadership Network - He Tipuana Nga Kakano?

Your voice does matter, so whatever it is you want to say, "say it"

What is your favourite "whakatauki - words of wisdom"?

Tenei te po nau mai te ao - From the darkness there is light (potential)