Board Members

Rebecca Nelson

Co-Founder

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 Mashali

Co-Founder

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 Burt

Co-Founder

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.

TKM ADVISORY GROUP

Organisation Representatives 

WO1 Mark Mortiboy DSD

Warrant Officer of the Defence Force

Bio below

I have seen first-hand the impact that extended recovery from wounds, injury and ..... click here to read more

illness has on our personnel and their families. I have visited recovery centres, such as Tedworth House, and have seen the progress that residents can make within a supportive and understanding environment. I welcome the opportunity to be involved with a NZ-based charity focused on providing care for our people and respite for families. Te Kiwi Māia has the potential to make a real difference to the quality of life of our people and whānau, and importantly reassure those prepared to go in to harm’s way that this type of support will be available should the need arise.”

Scott Weatherall

National Health & Safety Advisor, Surf Life Saving New Zealand 

Bio below....

Scott works as the National Health & Safety Advisor for Surf Life Saving New Zealand,....click here to read more

he remains an active Volunteer Surf Lifeguard at his club in Dunedin (Brighton). His approach to Health & Safety is a little different from most with a view that Health & Safety should not stop us from doing what we do but we should be using to help us to do what we do but better, this philosophy is important when working in such a dynamic environment that Surf Life Saving is especially with the majority of the active members being 16 – 22 years old. 

Scott’s passion is for First Responder Welfare and wellbeing – he has been an Ambulance Officer/Registered Paramedic with St John for the past 20 years initially as a Volunteer, then full-time for 17 years pre-joining Surf Life Saving New Zealand in July 2022 being a Volunteer Surf Lifeguard for the past 28 years and an active SAR volunteer for 25 years.

As a First Responder Scott is also a Peer Supporter with St John and Surf Life Saving New Zealand. He is a Volunteer Ambassador with I AM HOPE positively sharing and normalising Mental Health. 

Scott also teaches a Member Wellbeing Workshop (looking after ourselves before/during and after an incident, organisational well-being, and a mental health intro) for Land Search and Rescue and Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

The opportunity to come on board to support the amazing work of Te Kiwi Māia Charitable Trust is extremely exciting and Scott is really looking forward to helping in any way possible. 

Surf Lifesaving New Zealand is extremely excited to come on board as a partner agency with Te Kiwi Māia Charitable Trust.

Alice Tolich

Northland Rescue Helicopter Advisor

Bio below...

Alice is an Intensive Care Paramedic who joined Northland Rescue Helicopter Limited in 2021,....click here to read more

after 18 months working with the Whangārei rescue helicopter.  Prior to this, she worked as a paramedic in Tāmaki Makaurau for seven years, where she lives with her husband, seven chickens, and a very spoiled cat. Alongside with Steph, Alice is privileged to share responsibility for NRHL’s Wellbeing portfolio and is excited to contribute her experiences to support the needs of others.

Outside of work, Alice is an classical music enthusiast, avid hiker and addicted to adventures of any kind – especially if they involve food.

Alice utilises Stoicism and mindfulness approaches to promote resilience in the face of prehospital critical care stressors.

“Mental health is an ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs.”
— M. Scott Peck

Mel Aitken

New Zealand Police Superintendent

Bio below...

Mel is a Sworn police officer with 22+ years in service, graduating in 1999 and spending the majority ..... Click here to read more

of her career in front line operational roles. (North Shore, Southern – Section Supervisor and Area Prevention Manager), West Coast Area Commander 2016 for 3 years before taking her current role as Director (Superintendent) of Safer People. Mel is responsible for the Health and Safety and Wellness of employees across the organisation. She is passionate about wellness and health and when not working, she is a long-distance runner/athlete having represented NZ on several occasions in trail and road running.

Esitone (Esi) Pauga

Response Capability Advisory Manager for Fire and Emergency

Bio below....

Pauga Esitone (Esi) Pauga is the Response Capability Advisory Manager for Fire and Emergency based...... Click here to read more

at National Headquarters (NHQ) in Wellington. Originally from Samoa, Esi began his firefighting career in 1981 based in Auckland. He has progressed through the ranks including a two-year secondment as a fire engineer. A Commander based at NHQ, Esi continues to respond to larger incidents in Wellington and the Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s National Coordination Centre.

Esi has seen a number of serious injuries where the firefighters could no longer continue in their chosen roles. Sadly, he also lost a number of close colleagues in the line of duty.

He understands the risk that comes with being a frontline responder and is excited to be given the opportunity to join Te Kiwi Māia’s Advisory Board. He believes in the work of Te Kiwi Māia.

“I am honoured and feel privileged to be asked to join the Advisory Board, I look forward to being part of the team to help make a difference in the life of our injured frontline and first responders”.

Esi hopes that his culture’s approach to health; focusing on the person as a whole, will help enrich the work of Te Kiwi Māia.

Mitch Mullooly

MPA, Chair - Australasian College of Paramedicine, NZ Chapter

Bio below....

Mitch is the Chair of the Australasian College of Paramedicine, a Paramedic and a Health and ...... Click here to read more

Wellness Strategist. Having spent more than two decades in the pre-hospital medical environment, working in a diverse spread of metropolitan, rural and remote locations in New Zealand, she has a long-held passion for healthy living and wellbeing within the Emergency Services Sector. As a passionate champion of the ‘Fit for Duty’ manta, Mitch has added the domain of ‘Fit for Life’, as not only do we need to be fit for our working environment, ultimately we must be fit and healthy for our daily lives outside of our work commitments – physically, emotionally, psychologically and energetically.

Having developed the wellness programme “Eat.Train.Be. Fit for Duty” which concentrates on the four main pillars of wellbeing – nutrition, movement, mindset, rest and recovery, Mitch has increased her influence by creating a free online community – Team Eat.Train.Be. Fit for Duty, where she runs regular nutrition, movement and mindset programmes focusing on the physical and mental wellness of emergency responders, all with the knowledge and encouragement from being a frontline Paramedic and Health and Wellbeing Coach.

Mitch prides herself on helping emergency responders reverse the negative effects of physical and psychological fatigue to become fit for duty + fit for life!

Andy Everiss

St John Advisor

Bio below...

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!"

Rob McCaw

Coastguard NZ Advisor

Bio below....

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.

Business Specialists 

Lady Jo Shelford

Māori Cultural Advisor

Bio below......

Lady Jo Shelford (Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa, Ngapuhi ki Whangaroa, Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Maru – Pare Hauraki) is a traditional Mātanga Rongoā/Rongoā Practitioner....... Click here to read more

As a self-employed contractor, currently she is leading 3 hauora clinics in Hauraki (Te Mata Hauora) under the umbrella of Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki (since 2019). She lives in Thames and works extensively throughout Pare Hauraki offering services of Pure/cleansing, Whakawhiti kōrero/counselling, Karakia/pastoral care and Mirimiri/massage. 

Lady Jo is also an Ariki Tapunui o Io Matangaro under the guidance and teachings of Matua Billy Tuhua (2018) and a trained Holistic Aromatherapist from the Tisserand Institute in London, England (2004). She combines the healing nature of native rongoā, essential oils and mirimiri to support whānau to maintain health and well-being.  

With her husband Sir Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford, Lady Jo has 2 tamariki and 5 mokopuna and when she is not in Hauraki she lives with them in the Hibiscus Coast. Jo was asked to return to Hauraki to work with her iwi in 2019 and has cherished that opportunity. 

Lady Jo has a strong affiliation to the services. Her father and brother both served in Te Tauārangi and Sir Wayne and their son Eruera served in Te Taua Moana, along with several nephews. An aunt and uncle served with Ngā Pīrīhimana o Aotearoa. 

Her involvement with Te Kiwi Māia has been from it’s inception and she’s a strong advocate for the cause. She readily agreed to sit as the Māori Cultural Advisor on the Advisory Group.

As she said, “Without a second thought I knew that I’d be a strong supporter of this amazing kaupapa. Te Kiwi Māia offers an holistic pathway of healing for our First Responder community and an opportunity for Māori to heal hearing their voices and listening to their stories.” 

Rajna Bogdanovic

Clinical Psychologist

Bio below....

Rajna is an internationally recognised and registered Clinical Psychologist (NZ/AU), Organisational wellbeing consultant, speaker and........ Click here to read more

wellbeing columnist who has spent the last 12 years working within the frontline and emergency services mental health context. She is passionate about helping people get ‘unstuck’, restore their sense of self and thrive in all areas of their life. Rajna moved back to New Zealand in 2019 from working across Europe and Australia where she had been a Police psychologist, criminology and policing lecturer, the Senior Psychologist for the Country Fire Authority and in private practice. Internationally, Rajna was employed by United Nations Criminal Tribunals, working with victims and witnesses of war crimes. After concluding her work with the UN, Rajna worked in the field in heavily mined Bosnia and Herzegovina where she interviewed as well as engaged in therapy with victims and witnesses of war crimes.

In 2020, Rajna founded First Response Health, a specialist mental health organisation that offers a full range of mental health and related services to frontline and first responder organisations as well as global corporates. She is thrilled to be a part of the Te Kiwi Māia Advisory Board, and looks forward to supporting the sustainable growth and development of mental health solutions for New Zealand’s first responders.

Jenny Mullane

Advisor & Facilitator - Organisational Planning 

Bio below.....

Jenny is a seasoned technology and business process consultant, with more than a decade helping local and global for-profit and non-for-profit organisations define,........ Click here to read more

design, and implement successful cross-functional scalable progress. Jenny’s passion is “fostering curiosity and collaboration, to help individuals, teams, and organisations clarify the dots, so that together we can create communities of shared understanding and meaningful action.”

As the proud daughter of a Vietnam Veteran, and having recently returned to New Zealand after 13 years abroad, Jenny was excited to learn about Te Kiwi Māia, and has offered her services to work alongside others in helping Rebecca and the team plan, design, and implement the vision for Te Kiwi Māia.

Geoff Clews

Barrister, LL B (Hons), M Jur (Distn), FANZCN, AIF, M Inst D

Bio below.....

Geoff Clews is a senior barrister specialising in contentious taxation matters and trust disputes. Outside his legal practice, Geoff is chairman of the....... Click here to read more

Sir George Elliot Charitable Trust, a substantial educational charity, and has led the Auckland Communities Foundation, a major not-for-profit facilitator of private philanthropy in Auckland. Over 30 years Geoff led campaigns which established three arts facilities in Auckland. He had a long career in arts governance, which culminated in him serving two terms as a Director of Regional Facilities Auckland, being responsible for governing over $1 billion of arts, sporting, heritage and collection assets for the City. Geoff is a Teaching Fellow with the Faculty of Law at Auckland University, teaching a Master’s degree course on tax disputes and litigation, and for seven years was a Ministerial appointee on the Financial Advisers Disciplinary Committee. Geoff is currently the Chair of the Financial Services Council Code Disciplinary Committee.

Having been asked to draft the trust deed for TKM Trust, Geoff read widely about the UK Help for Heroes Trust and was attracted to the concept of a trust in this country to support the (often unseen) harm that can befall first responders and our Defence Forces, because of the work they do. In the past Geoff has provided pro bono advice to those working to establish support for Vietnam veterans and their families, and he has assisted various RSA organisations with legal and governance advice. He sees this opportunity to share his knowledge with TKM as a natural extension of that work.

Geoff has no direct connection with the military, save for his Great Grandfather’s service in the South African War, his Father’s CMT service in the Army Catering Corp and his present membership of the Honourable Regiment of Bankers and Lawyers, an Auckland based dinner club that meets intermittently to fiercely celebrate our country’s military exploits.

Chris Mullane

ONZM, MBE, JP

Bio below......

Chris is a former soldier with 22 years’ service in the NZ Army, including operational service in Vietnam. He has had a successful business career after leaving the NZDF and has given extensive voluntary ...... Click here to read more

service in leadership roles within the RNZRSA and other veteran support groups at local and national level. Chris played a key role in reshaping veterans’ support legislation and was appointed inaugural chairperson of the Veterans’ Advisory Board. Chris continues his work in support of veterans and their families and currently serves on the Veterans’ Health Advisory Panel.

“I have been an avid supporter from the moment Rebecca first shared with me her vision for creating respite facilities to support those who risk their own health and well-being in serving their fellow New Zealanders. An important aspect of the Te Kiwi Māia Trust’s objectives is that its support will be available not only to current and former members of the armed forces but also to the whole range of first responders whose service to their fellow New Zealanders places them in harm’s way – Police, Fire & Emergency, Para Medics, Rescue Helicopter Crew, etc. and also to their families. This combination enables a greater level of support through economies of scale.

“I am greatly impressed and motivated by Rebecca’s boundless energy, generous spirit and enthusiasm for helping others. This has attracted the attention of people from all walks of life and all levels of society and as a result, Te Kiwi Māia Trust has confirmed the support of senior leaders within the NZDF and each of the emergency services. Business and community leaders have also pledged their support. I am honoured to be involved in this highly deserving project.”

Aaron Hape, FRSA

Governance and Business Strategy Consultant

Bio below....

Aaron is a public policy professional with significant experience influencing decisions in the economic, health, defence, justice, and political sectors. He is the..... Click here to read more

Government Affairs Partner at Roche New Zealand and serves in governance and advisory positions in the human rights and arts sectors including for the Human Rights Measurement Initiative and the Te Papa Foundation. Aaron is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London and is an alumnus of the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

He affiliates to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua and was the first Māori to be elected an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society. 

"My great grandfather noted in his diaries from WWI the mental and physical impacts he suffered as a result of his service, so I’m proud to play my small part in ensuring that those who serve our country in these critical roles are cared for through Te Kiwi Māia’s support and advocacy”

Dr Ferran de Miguel

Sustainability Specialist

Bio below....

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 Horsley

Communications Specialist

Bio below...

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.

Boris Bogdanovic

Architectural Designer & Cultural Heritage Specialist

Bio below.....

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.

Where to get help

 

1737, Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

What’s Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, midday–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.

Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.

thelowdown.co.nz – or email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626

Anxiety New Zealand – 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)

Supporting Families in Mental Illness – 0800 732 825

 If it’s an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

Our latest

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