Rebecca is a reservist in the Royal New Zealand Navy and holds the rank of Lieutenant, but her recruitment to the Defence Force did not exactly follow a traditional path. In 2013 she was spotted busking on the streets of Devonport and was approached by the Musical Director of the Navy Band. She was employed as the official singer and has had the honour and privilege of travelling to Gallipoli, the Somme and Passchendaele to perform at centenary commemorations.
As part of Rebecca’s role within the Defence Force, she regularly has the opportunity to meet incredible veterans and service personnel; she is extremely passionate about the welfare and support of these individuals. She is an active committee member at her local Returned and Services Association club and a Poppy Ambassador for the national Poppy Day Appeal.
Rebecca was inspired to create Te Kiwi Māia after visiting Tedworth House, an incredible facility in England run by the charitable organisation Help for Heroes. When she returned to New Zealand and started talking about her idea, it soon became clear that first responders/emergency services face similar challenges with the wellbeing of their people and would also benefit from this initiative
Megan has been a serving member of the Royal New Zealand Navy since 2009 and currently holds the rank of Lieutenant, working her way through the ranks to Petty Officer before commissioning as a Maritime Logistics Officer in 2019. She initially enlisted as an Able Musician in the RNZN Band and relished the opportunity to travel and perform throughout New Zealand and around the world; a highlight being a five month exchange to the UK with The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.
Megan went on to become an instructor for Basic Common Training, putting the new recruits through their paces, before accepting a similar posting conducting Junior Officer Common Training at the Officer Training School. Once commissioning, she spent a year at sea on HMNZS CANTERBURY (the RNZN’s multi-role logistics vessel) and is now the Assistant Operations Manager of the supply depot.
James has been a reservist in the Royal New Zealand Navy for over 26 years. He joined as an Ordinary Seaman and was later commissioned from the ranks. James is a Warfare Officer (a navigator) by training, and has enjoyed exploring much of New Zealand from the sea. However, one of his career highlights was ashore, serving as the Commanding Officer of HMNZS NGAPONA, the Auckland division of the Navy Reserve, in 2017-2018. James is now responsible for personnel and training matters across the Navy Reserve.
James has found those roles in which he can influence better, more positive outcomes for others to be the most personally rewarding, and he relishes the opportunity to do that for the most deserving in our community through Te Kiwi Māia. James brings strong analytical skills from his civilian career as a barrister and an ability to forge enduring relationships. He enjoys contributing to Te Kiwi Māia’s strategic direction and is passionate about realising Te Kiwi Māia’s goals for the benefit of first responders and New Zealand Defence Force personnel.
St John Advisor
I am Andy Everiss, I am married to my beautiful wife and we have 2 amazing daughters. I have been with Hato Hone St John for the ......... Click here to read more
past 18 years as a Paramedic and Operations Manager. During this time I have seen firsthand the trauma and the impacts it has on first responders and their whanau. I am truly honoured to work alongside such a dynamic group of fantastic people that acknowledge the importance of first responder mental health and wellbeing.
I am deeply passionate about St John and growing the brand by cementing a legacy of resilient, passionate, authentic leaders that will continue to positively impact the community of Aotearoa for future generations. I have a strong focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing, reducing the stigma and promoting positive conversations in a fun and proactive way around all aspects of the mental health journey.
Never underestimate the positive impact you have!"
Coastguard NZ Advisor
Rob spent 20 years as a Warfare Officer in the RNZN, has deployed on multiple overseas operations and missions and seeing,......... Click here to read more
first-hand, the stresses placed on our military personnel deployed for prolonged periods. For Rob this personal toll was such he himself suffered at the hands of depression and attempted to begin breaking the stigma around this by openly writing about his experiences for the Naval audience. 'What surprised me the most was how many people came forward and opened up to me. It speaks to the considerable work we still need to do in this area so nobody is left behind.’
Having left the RNZN in 2019 Rob is now the Head of Operations for Coastguard New Zealand where is teams of volunteers around the country attend thousands of callouts every year. ‘These volunteers are heroes to me. They answer that call, drop their own lives to go and save another, then are expected to come back to their lives as if nothing has happened. This is a massive space we as a nation need to do better and why organisations like Te Kiwi Māia are essential.’
Rob brings a wealth of front-line operational experience coupled with strong organisational and wellbeing experience, underpinned with a deep sense of protecting those who answer our nation’s call.
Dr Ferran de Miguel
Dr Ferran de Miguel Mercader holds an MSc (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain) and a PhD (Universiteit Twente, The Netherlands) both ......... Click here to read more
in chemical engineering. As a research scientist, he developed technology for renewable energies and climate change mitigation at TNO in The Netherlands, and at Scion here in New Zealand. During this time he represented New Zealand at the International Energy Agency – Bioenergy, on the topic of liquid biofuels. Since 2019, he has worked as Sustainability Manager at Laminex and then at Fletcher Building, helping their New Zealand and Australian businesses move towards low-carbon, circular, and equitable practices.
He was the chairperson of Fletcher Building Pride (2019-2021), for which he received a highly commended award as rainbow ambassador in the 2022 NZ Rainbow Excellence Awards.
Why I want to support Te Kiwi Māia
I am part of the extended NZDF whānau, as my husband and many friends work in the Navy. I have personally seen the massive toll their jobs take on them, from both external demands and internal pressure. Anything we can do to support the physical, and especially, the mental health of our service people is a great cause. That why I’m so happy to be able to support Te Kiwi Māia in any way I can.
Emma has had more than 20 years’ experience in media and communications and is extremely excited and honoured to be part of Te Kiwi Māia. Emma spent nine years with NZDF as a ...... Click here to read more
senior communications advisor and was a communications lead for the WW100 Commemorations. She is now the Executive Director of Communications at Hawke’s Bay District Health Board
Married to a former RAF and RNZAF Air Force firey she understands the dark times that first responders can experience and wants to help make sure our front-line people get the support they deserve.
Emma is very excited to be working with a lot of old friends from NZDF again and to have the opportunity to keep telling the world how amazing our first responders and military personnel are.
When she’s not telling the good news you’ll probably find her in one of her happy places, which is either the kitchen creating serious cakes, or hanging with the dogs and husband on the Hawke’s Bay beaches.
Architectural Designer & Cultural Heritage Specialist
Born and raised in Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, Boris completed his architectural studies in Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada and the UK. Since then, Boris has lived and...... Click here to read more
worked in the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, and Jordan, and most recently Aotearoa New Zealand. With a unique skill set in the built environment. Borne of a diverse personal and professional background, Boris is passionate about architecture, historic places, and humanity’s shared heritage. He believes that heritage and culture belong to everyone - they are living things that need to respond and be informed by the needs and interests of people. His life and work in warzones and post-conflict areas means that Boris has worked extensively with first responders and the people they help. He has seen first-hand the negative impacts of loss and trauma and the results of a lack of support for mental and spiritual wellbeing. For this reason, Boris is excited to be on Te Kiwi Māia’s advisory board and honoured to be contributing to the development of a home for all courageous kiwis in a place that is meaningful, accessible, useful, and beautiful. He believes strongly in the capacity of well-designed buildings and landscapes in helping to heal people and their wider communities. In his practice, Boris runs a consultancy advising on built heritage projects and also works as a historic building’s advisor for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, the Government’s body that manages and identifies historic heritage in Aotearoa New Zealand.