Te rangapū ārahi Our leadership team

Our leadership team provides strategic guidance for Te Hiringa Mahara.

The team includes Chief Executive, Karen Orsborn, and four directors who are responsible for our core workstreams. 

Karen Orsborn, Tumu Whakarae | Chief Executive

Karen is the Chief Executive of Te Hiringa Mahara. During 2020, Karen led the establishment of Te Hiringa Mahara as Head of Secretariat for the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission.

Karen has held a variety of health management and leadership roles that focus on improving outcomes for people through working with people and communities. Previously, Karen was Director Health Quality Improvement and Deputy Chief Executive at the Health Quality and Safety Commission (HQSC). In this role she led national patient safety and quality improvement programmes across public and private hospitals, primary and community care, mental health and addiction services, and aged care.

Karen has also held roles as National Lead for Elective Services and Group Manager Funding at the Ministry of Health, as well as operational roles in a District Health Board.

Karen is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Services Management (ACHSM) and a former President of ACHSM-Aotearoa.

She holds a Master of Business Studies (Management) and has completed the Advanced Management and Leadership programme at Oxford University. She is a Registered Nurse.

Ella Cullen, Kaiwhakahaere Pūnaha Toiora Arataki | Director of Wellbeing System Leadership

Dr Ella Cullen is the Director Wellbeing System Leadership and Insights, with a focus on cross-government system leadership, monitoring, and advocacy to address determinants of improved individual and whānau mental health and wellbeing outcomes. Ella will lead the ongoing development and implementation of the dual-framed He Ara Oranga Wellbeing Outcomes Framework, including measurement development, in partnership with Māori and our priority populations. Ella also leads the data and insights team as part of the core monitoring and reporting role at the Commission.

Ella has held a variety of roles in the public sector most recently advising the Chief Māori and Equity Officer at ACC. In this role Ella established the first Māori Wellbeing Outcomes Framework for ACC, Te Kāpehu Whetū which has informed the measurement approach for organisational performance and championed approaches to achieving equity for Māori.

Ella holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Developmental Psychology from Otago University which explored Māori adolescent identity development and the link to psychological wellbeing, and a Post Graduate Diploma (Science) which explored developmental benefits of imaginary companion play among Māori 5-year-olds.

Maraea Johns (nee Turuwhenua), Kaitohu Māori | Director Māori

Iwi – Ngai Tūhoe

Maraea is Te Hiringa Mahara Director Māori, the role that partners with the Chief Executive and Leadership team to provide strategic and operational advice and direction that reflects the commitment of Te Hiringa Mahara to being grounded in Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Te Tiriti).

She leads the design and development of a Te Tiriti framework and implementation plan, building on Te Tiriti Position Statement to drive and inform all the functions of Te Hiringa Mahara. Authentic Te Tiriti partnerships with iwi, engaging effectively with Māori, increasing the capability of Te Hiringa Mahara and reviewing policies and procedures from a Te Tiriti lens are a key focus and driver of her work at Te Hiringa Mahara. Maraea has a grounded understanding working with (and as a member of) whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori communities. Māori provider knowledge and experiences, past roles at programme, policy, and senior management levels in the Ministry of Health, DHBs, ACC and other sectors including education, justice, and defence, complement her role in Te Hiringa Mahara.

Holding strong interest both personal and professional in Māori mental health and wellbeing, te reo Māori, te ao Māori, mātauranga Māori and Te Tiriti, Maraea embraces all these ‘taonga tukuiho’ as lifelong pursuits of continuous learning for all.

Maraea holds a Diploma in Rehabilitation, BA double major in Psychology and Māori Studies, PGDip in Management Studies, Masters in Business Administration and is part-way through a Masters in Clinical Psychology.

Tanya Maloney, Kaiwhakahaere Hauora Hinengaro, Waranga | Director Mental Health and Addiction Leadership

Tanya is the Director Mental Health and Addiction Leadership, a role that provides strategic thought leadership and influence in the transformation of the mental health and addiction sector.

Tanya leads the work in monitoring and reporting on the mental health and addiction system, providing advice on service and sector improvements and the advocacy relating to system transformation. She also leads the team that is focused on bringing the collective voices of people with lived experience of mental distress, substance harm or addiction to the fore in strategy, policy, and transformation.

As a qualified clinical psychologist, Tanya has clinical experience in community, acute and secure mental health settings. She was a key part of the team that developed the first peer-support training and services in South Auckland almost 20 years ago, and she remains committed to promoting the critical role that peers have in contributing to an effective mental health system.

She has held mental health management roles in NGOs and DHBs, including General Manager of Mental Health for Counties Manukau DHB. She has also held senior management roles in public health, women’s health and child health, and executive roles in strategic planning and funding in Australia and New Zealand.

Wayne Verhoeven, Kaiwhakahaere Rātonga Rangatōpū | Director Corporate Services

Wayne is the Director Corporate Services. The Corporate Services team supports Te Hiringa Mahara by delivering a range of functions, including finance, communications, strategies and planning, machinery of government, accountability, human resources, facilities and information technology.

In this role, Wayne ensures the provision of strategic and operational information to enable executive decision-making and provides advice, insights and recommendations to the Chief Executive, Leadership team and Board.

Wayne also ensures the integrity of the corporate systems and processes in place that enables confidence and trust in the outcomes produced. Wayne has held finance and corporate services management roles in a range of government agencies and private sector organisations, including other Crown entities.

His previous roles have included General Manager Corporate Service and Chief Finance Officer at Worksafe, General Manager Corporate Services at Education New Zealand, Chief Finance Officer at the Families Commission and Chief Finance Officer at NZ on Air.

Wayne is a chartered accountant. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Management.