Tūtaki Mai ki Ngā Kaitohutohu Wheako Ora Meet our Lived Experience Advisors

We currently have two Lived Experience Advisors whose job is to support connections with tāngata whaiora and lived experience communities and provide advice on all of the work of Te Hiringa Mahara. 

Guy Baker

Kaitohutohu Wheako Māori Whānau | Principal Advisor Māori Whānau Lived Experience (he/him).

Ko Hikurangi te maunga
Ko Waiapu te awa
Ko Porourangi te tangata
Ko Horouta te waka
Ko Ngati Porou te iwi
Ko Guy Baker ahau

My foray into the mental health and addiction sector came later in life after a career within the public service, hospitality and local government sectors. A personal journey of lived experience sparked a passion that saw me join Te Kupenga Net Trust in Tairawhiti as an adult peer support/advocacy worker, Consumer Leader and Mataora. I was privileged to carry the voices of whānau to local, regional and national forums where I was to Co-Chair of Nga Hau e Wha (National Consumer Advocacy Group) and become a member of the National Association of Mental Health Services Consumer Advisors (NAMHSCA) prior to joining Te Hiringa Mahara in 2022. I am married with two daughters and we all live in Gisborne. Music is another passion of mine that brings balance into my life, and I continue to moonlight as an entertainer (as part of a duo) along the Gisborne/East Coast entertainment scene.

Saskia Ymker

As an enthusiastic advocate of the restorative power of being ourselves, I have a passion for the Peer movement. I have facilitated Intentional Peer Support trainings nationally and internationally for many years, alongside other trainings that promote inclusivity, acceptance and understanding. Most recently, I held the General Manager role at Kites Trust - a lived experience NGO that models lived experience leadership and advocates for rights and equal opportunities for those of us with lived experience. Prior to this, I held many facilitation, mentoring and support worker roles, and while I hold a Bachelor and Master of Science, it is my lived experience that I value most highly.


To contact Guy or Saskia, please email kiaora@mhwc.govt.nz