The Commission has established an Expert Advisory Group (EAG) for the He Ara Āwhina framework, following on from a consultation phase on the framework that was held between October 2020 and February 2021.

The He Ara Āwhina (pathways to support) framework will monitor mental health and addiction services and look at how the whole mental health and addiction system supports the wellbeing of people and whānau who experience mental distress, substance use harm, or gambling harm (or a combination of these).

Between September and November 2021, the EAG will support the Commission to develop a draft He Ara Āwhina framework, ready for public consultation. This diverse group of experts will share their expertise and perspectives and co-design the vision of what a system of services, support, and approaches should look like for people and whānau who experience mental distress, substance use harm, or gambling harm (or a combination of these).

The EAG will consult initially with peak bodies to develop the draft framework before the Commission seeks public feedback on the draft in February and March 2022. The finalised framework will be presented as the Commission’s approach to assessment by June 2022.

To learn more about the He Ara Āwhina Expert Advisory Group, download their Terms of Reference.

Meet the Expert Advisors

Sharon Shea (Chair) (she / her)

Sharon is recognised as a leader in the field of health sector strategy and outcomes framework development and is an expert in Results Based Accountability. Sharon is the co-chair of the Māori Health Authority and a Board member of Health New Zealand. She has held roles focused on Māori health improvement, including being part of the Māori Expert Advisory Group for the Health and Disability Systems Review. Sharon also chaired the Expert Advisory Group for the He Ara Oranga wellbeing outcomes framework.

Anne Brebner (she / her)

Anne is currently Acting Group Manager Specialist Services, Mental Health and Addiction, Ministry of Health. She brings extensive experience in acute mental health leadership, previously DAMHS and CND at Counties Manukau District Health Board (DHB), and immediate past president of Te Ao Māramatanga, College of Mental Health Nurses in Aotearoa New Zealand. Anne has a strong commitment to promoting best practice, safety, quality, and better outcomes for everyone with regard to their mental health, addictions, disability, and wellbeing.

Ben Birks Ang (he / him)

Ben brings 20 years of experience in the alcohol and other drugs field. He is currently Deputy Executive Director, Programmes at the NZ Drug Foundation. He also is Chair of the Board of Addiction Practitioners Association Aotearoa New Zealand (DAPAANZ) and works as a contractor and supervisor for youth health and addiction. He is also a clinical governance group member for Te Puna Manawa.

Dean Rangihuna (he / him)

Dean is currently one of the Directors of Te Pou / Wise Group, Māori Lived Experience Principal Advisor for the Ministry of Health, Board Member of the Suicide Prevention Office and Te Kaihapai / Māori Consumer Advisor for the Canterbury District Health Board Specialist Mental Health Services. He worked on the Mental Health and Addiction inquiry, He Ara Oranga (2018). Dean was a member of the Health and Disability NZ standard committee (2019-2021) and a member of the Health Quality Safety Commission Māori Advisory group around restraint and seclusion inequity for Māori.

Hine Moeke-Murray (she / her)

Hine has been involved in Mental Health and Addiction for the past 13 years where she has been instrumental in reinstating Tikanga Māori as an integral part of health for Māori to ultimately achieve Mana Motuhake. Hine is currently Chief Executive Officer, Te Kupenga Net Trust and CEO, Waharoa (previously Te Kuwatawata).

Ian Soosay (he / him)

Ian is currently Clinical Director MHA at Counties Manukau DHB and Chair of National Clinical Directors in Mental Health & Addictions. Ian is a trained psychiatrist with a background in epidemiology and mental health policy. Previously he was Deputy Director of Mental Health, Ministry of Health.

Julia Ioane (she / her)

Julia is Samoan, bilingual, and an Associate Professor in Clinical psychology at Massey University where she embeds indigenous (Pasifika) world views in her teaching and practice.  As a clinical psychologist, Julia maintains a private psychology practice, working in areas that include child and youth offending mental health. She is also involved in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.  

Kelly Feng (she / her)


Kelly is the National Director for Asian Family Services where she works and advocates for Asian people in New Zealand, particularly to develop more culturally and linguistically appropriate services to meet the needs of Asian communities. Kelly was a medical doctor in China before migrating to Aotearoa New Zealand. Kelly obtained her qualifications in social work in NZ in 2015 and has been working in the mental health and addiction sector and other social sectors for over a decade.

Leilani Maraku (she / her)


Leilani is currently the Pouwhakahaere, Te Kete Pounamu National organisation of Māori with lived experience. Leilani brings lived experience and experience as the Manukura (CE) for Mana o te Tangata Trust, a Kaupapa Māori Mental Health and Addiction Peer Support Service in the MidCentral region. She is a strong advocate for inclusion and ensuring the voices of tangata whai ora (people with lived experience of mental health or addiction (or both)) and their whānau are being heard. 

MahMah Timoteo (they / she)

MahMah is an Environmental Anthropology PhD Candidate at the University of Canterbury, where they are also a part-time lecturer. MahMah is also Co-Chair of Qtopia and Rainbow Advisor of Moana Vā. Both Qtopia and Moana Vā are LGBTQIA+ organisations  in Ōtautahi Christchurch that support young rainbow people. 

Mary O’Hagan (she / her)

Mary has lived experience of mental distress and is a former Mental Health Commissioner. She is currently General Manager, Operations at Te Hiringa Hauora / Health Promotion Agency.

Nina Scott (ia / she / her)

Nina (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua and Waikato) is a public health physician and is passionate about kaupapa Māori approaches to research and improving the health system. Nina is co-chair of Hei Āhuru Mōwai Māori Cancer Leadership and Director of Māori Equity Strategy and Research at Waikato DHB.

Peter Adams (he / him)

Peter is a Professor at the School of Population Health and Associate Director of the Centre for Addiction Research, University of Auckland. His research interests have focused on primary health interventions for addiction. Peter is a trained clinical psychologist.

Ross Philipps (he / him)


Ross is currently Business Operations Manager, Pathways. He has worked as a clinician, manager, and sector leader for over twenty years in the mental health and addiction sector. Ross is the Chair of the MHAKPI programme and is a representative on many sector advisory and reference groups.








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