The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission has six 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 the Commission's work and make sure that it performs its functions effectively and in a financially-responsible manner.

The Board must ensure that the Commission delivers on our Statement of Intent [PDF, 5.2 MB] and Statements 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 currently Chief Executive of Tui Ora Limited (a Māori development organisation and health and social service) 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 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.

Taimi Allan, Board member

Taimi Allan, Board member.

Taimi is Chief Experience Officer (CEO) of ‘Changing Minds’, a charitable trust governed and operated by people with lived experience of recovery from mental health and addiction issues. She has led Changing Minds to deliver person-centred, holistic services that improve wellbeing, through the innovative use of technology and creativity.

Taimi has led the development of the world’s first peer-supported, fully-accessible online wellbeing sessions. She also leads Rākau Roroa, a lived experience leadership initiative and a virtual reality platform designed to raise awareness and build empathy about mental distress. In 2012, Taimi led ‘The Big reTHINK’, a global mental health arts and performance festival.

Taimi serves on the National Suicide Mortality Review Committee and Medication Expert Advisory Group, 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 (AMHOIC) with Mental Health's "Emerging Leader" award in 2019 and was a 2021 Local Hero Medallist in Kiwibank’s New Zealander of the Year.

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 over 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.

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

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.

Kevin Hague, Board member

Kevin Hague, Board member.

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.

Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath, Board member

Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath, Board member.

Jemaima is Co-Head of School at Te Wānanga o Waipapa, School of Māori Studies and Pacific Studies, the University of Auckland. She has a public / population health background.  Her expertise lies in Pacific Studies and Pacific health, mental health and wellbeing, suicide prevention and postvention, health inequities, climate change, and youth development.

Jemaima was appointed as one of six panellists on the 2018 Government Inquiry into mental health and addiction. She has held various governance positions and is a current member of the Health Research Council of New Zealand’s Public Health Committee.

She previously served as a member of the Mental Health Foundation’s Suicide Bereavement Service Advisory Group, the Health Promotion Agency’s National Depression Initiative Advisory Group, and the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s Suicide Mortality Review Committee.


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