Te Hiringa Mahara has seven Board members, appointed by the Governor-General, under the Crown Entities Act 2004(external link). The role of the Board is to provide strategic guidance and oversight of our work and make sure that we perform our functions effectively and in a financially-responsible manner.

The Board must ensure that Te Hiringa Mahara delivers on our most recent Statement of Intent and Statement of Performance Expectations.

Hayden Wano, Chair

Hayden Wano, Chair.

Hayden is of Te Atiawa, Taranaki, and Ngāti Awa descent and has over 30 years experience in senior health management. He is the former CEO of Tui Ora Limited, a position he held for 25 years and was Chair of the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. Hayden has over 40 years health sector experience in mental health, community and medical services, and was the former Director of Clinical Services at Taranaki Healthcare Limited.

Hayden has held a wide range of governance positions, including Interim Chair of the National Health Board, Chair of the former Taranaki District Health Board, and Chair of the Health Sponsorship Council. He is a former Director of TSB and recently retired as Chair of TSB Community Trust and Chair of TSB Group Ltd. Hayden is currently a Board member of both the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce and Wise Group.

Hayden holds a Master of Business Administration from Massey University and participated in a Senior Executive Programme at Columbia University. In 2017, he received the Taranaki Mayoral Award for Business Excellence. He is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM) and a chartered member of the Institute of Directors.

Kevin Hague, Deputy Chair

Kevin Hague, Deputy Chair.

Kevin is the Chief Executive of Forest & Bird and was a Board member of the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. He is also the independent Chair of the West Coast Primary Health Organisation (PHO) and West Coast Alliance leadership team.

Kevin has held various leadership roles in business, government and community sectors. He was previously Chief Executive of the West Coast District Health Board and Executive Director of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. Kevin is a former New Zealand Member of Parliament and served on the Parliamentary Health Committee for eight years.

Kevin was a member of the New Zealand National Health Committee and the National Quality Improvement Committee and was Chair of the New Zealand Public Health Advisory Committee.

Taimi Allan, Board member

Taimi Allan, Board member.

Taimi is Tumu Whakarae (Director) of Ember Innovations, where she uses her personal lived experience of distress, coupled with a practical understanding of designing and delivering innovative mental health solutions, to support entrepreneurs working to have a positive impact on wellbeing approaches in Aotearoa.

Experienced in envisioning and actualising equitable, human-to-human centred holistic services, programmes and approaches that think outside the square, Taimi is passionate about improving wellbeing through a combination of kanohi ki te kanohi/ face-to-face connection, technology and creativity. Some of her previous projects and collaborations include the world’s first national peer-supported holistic, online and fully accessible wellbeing sessions, an award-winning bicultural and fully accessible lived experience leadership programme, a virtual reality power of contact empathy-building interactive film platform, and a global arts, comedy and theatre festival. 

Taimi serves on the National Suicide Mortality Review Committee and other strategic governance groups, bringing a lived experience voice to sector and service improvement, policy development, and suicide prevention. She was honoured by the Australasian Mental Health Outcomes and Information Conference with Mental Health's "Emerging Leader" award in 2019 and was a 2021 Local Hero Medallist in Kiwibank’s New Zealander of the Year Awards.

Professor Sunny Collings, Board member

Professor Sunny Collings, Board member.

Sunny has been Chief Executive of the Health Research Council since February 2020, following nine years as Dean and Head of Campus at the University of Otago Wellington.

A University of Otago graduate, Sunny has a background as a clinician and researcher, having practiced as a Consultant Psychiatrist for more than 25 years and led a research team at the University of Otago Wellington. Her own research focused on suicide and suicide prevention from a critical perspective.

Sunny has broad expertise as a researcher, manager, and senior leader in the clinical mental health sector, in health academia, and in suicide prevention.

Dr Barbara Disley, Board member

Dr Barbara Disley, Board member.

Barbara has extensive leadership and management experience leading large teams within the New Zealand education and health sectors.  She has held a number of senior public sector positions including chair of the first Mental Health Commission and Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Education where she had responsibility for special education.  

Barbara was Research and Evaluation Director at Cognition Education, undertaking a number of international education sector reviews and evaluations. Barbara has been the Chief Executive of a number of non-government organisations including the Mental Health Foundation and Richmond Fellowship. She was the Chief Executive of Emerge Aotearoa, New Zealand’s largest national mental health, addictions, disability and social housing provider.  

Barbara has been involved in a number of Government reviews including chairing the review of the ACC Sensitive Claims pathway and as a panel member of the 2018 He Ara Oranga Mental Health Inquiry. She was a panel member for the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service which heard the stories of over 1000 people who had experienced abuse or neglect while in state care. Barbara has been on the Ministry of Health Mental Health and Addiction Assurance group. She has recently been appointed to the Board of the Te Hiringa Mahara, Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.  

Over the past few years Barbara has been a Gateway Reviewer for the New Zealand Treasury.  She is Chair of the Global Leaders Exchange for mental health and disability. She has a doctorate in education from Macquarie University Sydney and in 2011 was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to mental health.

Alexander El Amanni, Board member

Alexander El Amanni, Board member.

Alexander was born in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. He has lived experience using youth and adult mental health and addiction services. He also has experience of child, youth, and family custody; the youth and adult justice system and corrections processes; and of using homelessness, unemployment, and social development services.

Alexander has been working in the mental health and addiction sector since 2009. He is a Lead Addiction Advisor for Kāhui Tū Kaha, a Ngāti Whātua not-for-profit provider of housing and mental health services. His previous roles in the sector have included consumer and peer support, addiction practice and counselling, education and research, policy, and governance.

He is also studying towards a Master of Health Practice in Addiction Studies at the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health. 

Tuari Potiki, Board member

Tuari Potiki, Board member.

Tuari is of Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe and Waitaha descent. He has more than 30 years experience in Māori alcohol and drug and mental health services, as a both a clinician and manager. He is currently Director of Māori Development at the University of Otago. He is also Chair of the New Zealand Drug Foundation, Chair of Needle Exchange Services Trust (NEST), and is a Board member of Te Rau Ora (a Māori health workforce development organisation) and the Southern District Health Board.

Tuari has worked at Te Rito Arahi (Māori Alcohol and Drug Service, Christchurch), the Community Alcohol and Drug Service (CADS) Christchurch, and was co-ordinator of Te Aroha o Te Hau Angiangi, the Taha Māori Programme at Queen Mary Hospital, Hanmer Springs. He has an extensive background in the Māori health, education and justice sectors. He was also General Manager of Strategic Operations of the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC) and held a management role at the Ngāi Tahu Development Corporation.

Tuari has been an advisor to the National Addiction Centre since its inception and currently chairs the Board of Te Whare Tukutuku, a Te Rau Ora initiative developing whanau-led programmes to reduce drug harm.  He has played a significant role in informing the education and training of the workforces working in the addiction treatment sector.  He has lived experience of drug addiction and will strengthen the alcohol and other drug harm reduction lens in our governance.  

Last modified: