Our
Team

We don’t just help people with the challenges they’re facing; we equip them to build brighter futures for themselves and others.

Team having a meeting in office

The Lifewise Executive Team

Haahaetu sitting in front of Pasifika Tapestry

Haehaetu Barrett

Chief Executive, Lifewise

Ko Te Arawa te waka
Ko Ngāti Whakaue te iwi
Ko Ngāti Kārenga te hapū
Ko Ngongotahā te maunga
Ko Te Utuhina te awa
Ko Te Rotoruanuiakahumatamomoe te roto moana
Ko Te Koutū te marae
Ko Tamatekapua te tangata
Ko Haehaetu Barrett toku ingoa
Ko au te Upoko Rangatira o Te Whanau Lifewise Trust

Kia ora,

My name is Haehaetu Barrett. I joined the Lifewise families in June 2010 and have been a long-standing senior leader of the organisation since this time.  My background is building and leading quality service provision for our most vulnerable families/whanau and am a known advocate for ensuring workforce capacity and capability is fit for purpose to address the demand of our communities.

Lifewise has provided the platform for multiple cutting-edge services across the country, I am proud I have stood with the organisation with conviction that we respect Mana Whenua status in each area we deliver and am proud of the work I have led in the last 12 years in my home, Te Arawa.  This mahi has helped whanau over the years find Mana and be reconnected.

I am the daughter of Ian and Haehaetu Barrett
Mother to Coleton, Shanayla and Rikawerohia
Grandmother to Farrah and Preston
Raised in my community of Te Koutu, Ngati Whakaue
I am proud to be the leader of an amazing Kaupapa and look forward to supporting transformational change.

Mauri Ora

Shirley Rivers

Head of Mission, Methodist Mission Northern

Shirley’s whakapapa is to Ngai Takoto, Ngapuhi and Waikato iwi.  She has lived experience working within iwi social services, community development, counselling and most recently teaching in the tertiary sector.    Shirley has grown up in the Methodist church, specifically within Te Taha Maaori and more recently involved in the wider connexional boards.  The Methodist church affirms that

Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the covenant establishing our nation on the basis of a power-sharing relationship, and will guide how we undertake mission that reflects and proclaims the transforming love of God.

Dean Shields

Chief Executive, Airedale Property Trust

Dean holds qualifications in civil engineering, property and finance with over 25 years’ experience in leading development and property teams on landmark projects and portfolios across all sectors in the property industry.

The Lifewise Trust Board

Rohan MacMahon

Rohan MacMahon has been a Lifewise Board member for three-and-a-half years, and as of 1 April 2020, he is the Chair of the Lifewise Board. He is a management consultant, formerly the Strategy Director at Crown Fibre Holdings. He also leads the Auckland Street Choir, which he founded in 2015. Whether as a Lifewise Big Sleepout participant or as a Splicer who brings city-centre folks together over a joyful tune, Rohan believes in bringing about positive changes by working together in harmony.

Marion Hines

Marion is a retired public servant having enjoyed a career with the Ministry of Justice. Roles included being the Manager of the High Court in Auckland for 12 years and being the National Training Manager for Higher Courts. Marion attends the Pitt Street Methodist Church and her passion for Lifewise arises out of being inspired by the Methodist history of John and Charles Wesley and by the Lifewise way of developing solutions to community need. She has a post graduate Diploma in Management from Auckland University and is a Fellow of the ANZ Institute of Management. Marion was Chair of The Lifewise Trust Board from June 2009, when it was established, through to March 2020. She is also Chair of the MMN Board.

Vaughn Davis

Vaughn is a Creative Director and business owner with a wealth of experience in advertising and media and communication.  He believes that for creativity to happen, companies and their Boards need diversity of thought and perspective and this is what he offers as a Director of Lifewise.  By day, Vaughn runs an Auckland-based advertising agency and is also a regular columnist and commentator in most media channels.

Jai Nario – LLB, BCom, CAANZ, MTaxS

Jai has more than 13 years of Trans-Tasman experience as a tax consulting professional helping businesses navigate through increasingly complex tax rules and succeed in an era of rapid change. She specialises in providing advice on tax matters including tax structuring, mergers and acquisitions, cross-border investments and tax disputes and controversy. She has experience working in Big Four accounting firms and also gained legal experience working in the tax team of a leading full-service law firm in New Zealand.
She is passionate about contributing to communities and helping solve important societal issues like homelessness. She has been a participant in the Lifewise Big SleepOut twice and raised funds totalling c.$20k in both years. She also drove an initiative to raise funds to provide 300 winter care packages across the City Missions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Throughout her career she has been involved in mentoring programmes including running the EY Volunteer Engagement Programme which focuses on providing mentors to students in low decile schools and mentoring through the First Foundation Programme. She hopes to continue to utilise her skills and experience to help make a difference.

Sasha Lockley

Sasha is a proven leader with significant experience in participating and reporting to Boards through various senior management, executive and voluntary positions held over the past 20 years.  This experience is complemented by being a qualified accountant and she hold a Masters in Advanced Leadership Practice from Massey University with an accompanying dissertation in Entrepreneurial Storytelling in New Zealand.   Sasha is passionate about authentic leadership and keeping the people at the heart of business and society.  She was a finalist in the Deloitte Top 200 New Zealand Young Executive of the Year for 2016 and 2017.
Sasha is an Edmund Hillary Fellow focussed on a mission to put the humanity back into business, especially regarding financial wellness.  Sasha also has lived experience with mental health, addiction and homelessness and believes it is important to contribute wider than yourself.  She has been involved from an early age in community work and participated in the Lifewise Big Sleepout in 2019.  She is keen to use her knowledge and experience to serve the community and contribute to a better and more inclusive society for all.

The Lifewise Senior Leadership Team

Sher smiling at camera

Sher Gestro

Family Services Manager

Sher joined Family Services in 2013 having previously worked for Lifewise in 2003 and 2005.  With a background in counselling and social work practices, Sher has extensive experience working with diverse client groups and complex social issues.  Committed to innovative responses and seeking positive change through whānau led, solution focused and preventative approaches Sher, has a passion for keeping tamariki safe and thriving, and whānau and individuals adequately supported, strong and connected to their communities

Rob Gill

Health & Disability Service Manager

“I choose to work in health and disability services because of the many opportunities to support people to live their best lives in communities where inclusion and diversity are celebrated.”

Rob brings with him 25 years of health and disability service management in not-for-profit and public service roles. Most recently, Rob managed the Ministry of Health’s Auckland-based disability team with responsibility for seven district health board areas in the Midland and Northern regions. With a passion for the Enabling Good Lives principles, Rob’s leadership focuses on delivering trustworthy in-home services for people who need healthcare assistance and supporting people, who want to, to create their own support arrangements via personal budgets such as individualised funding.

Rob was born in Barbados but has lived in Auckland since he was eight years old. He has also lived in Dunedin, Wellington and Otaki. His non-work passions include his family, conservation, outdoor pursuits and travel.

River Paton

Community Services Manager

River has worked across the addiction and social services sector in many different settings from District Health Boards to NGOs, both residential and community. River brings passion and experience to her role, combining her theoretical knowledge, practical experience and collaborative relational style to manage, support and grow services.

Previously the Service Lead for Lifewise Housing First in Tamaki Makaurau, River has a thorough understanding of the Lifewise way, working alongside her team and the people Lifewise serves.

Katee Waetford

Service Manager, Early Childhood Education

Katee oversees the ECE services of Lifewise. With an extensive background in teaching, management and education facilitation, Katee joined the team at Lifewise in 2015.
Katee’s goal is to create high quality low cost childcare within the community for children and families who otherwise may not have the opportunity.
“It’s a real privilege to be in a role that allows me to contribute so positively to the lives of young children and their families.”
Tepora smiling at camera mid shot

Tepora Apirana

Regional Manager, Bay of Plenty

Kei te Ohautanga o Potakatawhiti ko Te Ohu.
Kei Motutawa ko Haukeka.
Kei Atuareretahi ko Taranui.
Kei Rawāhirua ko Mokai.
Kei Te Mataarae-i-Orehu ko Puwhakaoho.
Kei Tapaniao ko Urutohatoha.
Kei Wharetaingamoko ko Pikiaowera.
Kei Te Papatu ko Whakahau.
Kei Matawhaura ko Te Kokako-peke-wero-a-Te Wahatuoro.
Ko nga pou enei o Te Tokotoru-a-Manawakotokoto e ihi nei ki te ra.
Tihee Tu Paiahaha!

Ko Matawhaura te maunga
Ko Te Rotoiti-i-kite-ai-a-Ihenga te moana
Ko Ngāti Pikiao te Iwi
Ko Te Arawa te Waka
Ko Ngāti Te Rangiunuora, Ngāti Hinekura, ngā hapū
Ko ahau tēnei ko Tepora Apirana,

Tēnā kotau kai aku rangatira, ngā puhi kākākura, ngā toki kākā tarahae, ngā pae maunga, me herenga waka, ngā tauwhirotanga o te wāhi ngaro ki ā kotau katoa,

Kōtau kua huri ki tua o paerau, e whakaeke nei ki runga i te waka o Rangi kia whetūrangihia ki te pō, moe mai rā ki te rangatiratanga o te mate, hoki mai ki a tātau e ora nei,

“Herea te weri o te kiki Kia kore ai e matata!” Tihei mauri ora.

Kia ora, ko Tepora toku ingoa. I’ve been with Lifewise since 2011 when I started my journey as a co-existing Disorders Clinician. I have a breadth of experience working in the Mental Health and Addiction space and have previously worked as an AOD Counsellor, Social Worker, and an Early Intervention Mental Health Specialist.

Working with Lifewise, I am motivated by mātauranga Māori, whānau-centred practice and clinical support. I dedicate myself to serving our people with heart and purpose.

Outside of Lifewise, I am the mother of four beautiful girls and my husband is from Tūhoe. I am completing a Masters in Māori & Indigenous Leadership with the University of Canterbury and look forward to integrating my learnings into my mahi and leadership.

Darragh O’Riordan

Fundraising, Marketing & Communications Manager

Darragh O’Riordan is driven by a desire to work collaboratively in order to create positive social change in a local and individual context. Experienced in fundraising, marketing and public relations, Darragh chooses to combine this knowledge to help enhance the lives of people who have experienced vulnerable times.
Darragh was born in London to Irish parents and witnessed the effects of poverty and social injustice from an early age. She attributes her strong work ethic and commitment to the community and to her mother who mentored Darragh from an early age to use the privilege of education, health and well-being to better society.

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