Valuing, respecting and utilising people's mental health experiences
Ka wāriu ka whakaute a ka whakapau e ngā wheako mate a hinengaro o ngā tangata
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Kites staff are well-qualified with diverse backgrounds and skills. Based not only on professional qualifications and experience, Kites staff also have first-hand knowledge of the sector and services.

Staff Profiles

David Hegarty

Manager

David has worked in the NGO sector in mental health and intellectual disabilities, both in New Zealand and the UK.

With management and leadership experience across a range of services, David is enjoying the opportunity to help Kites Trust grow and develop.

Contact David

 

HAMISH DOBBIE

Youth Peer Support Coordinator

Hamish is the newest addition to the team at Kites. He has been a youth worker for the last five years, teaching creative and leadership skills, and hanging out with some awesome young people. During that time, around half of the young people he was journeying with were experiencing at least one form of mental distress. It was from this experience his passion grew for supporting those who were experiencing mental distress.  

Hamish is undertaking a very exciting new project at Kites, creating a program which will provide support for young people aged 18-24 who have had lived experiences of mental distress. This will be the first program of its kind in Wellington and he feels very blessed to be involved in such an awesome initiative.

When he isn't at Kites, Hamish is known to be running some wickedly unheard of distances that make marathons seem like walks in the park. He is also prone to jumping on planes to faraway places to play bass guitar!

Contact Hamish

 

PAUL ELLIS

Buddies Peer Support Coordinator

Paul has a background working with people with intellectual disabilities, both as a facilitator, running a wide range of life skills groups, plus as a service manager for a small NGO day service.

In these roles Paul has had the opportunity to act as a community broker, advocate, and to help individuals set life goals and navigate their way towards them.

Paul also has a background in trade, having worked in logistics and tool acquisition for a large engineering firm in Australia.

Paul is the father of three men of which he was a solo parent, and is grandfather of five moko.

He is of Ngai Tahu/Irish descent. Paul began work at Kites Trust in July 2015.

Contact Paul

 

CANDICE BENSON

Buddies Peer Support Coordinator

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SUZY STEVENS

Project Specialist

Suzy began working for Kites at its inception in 2000, on secondment from Wellink Trust, one of the founding NGOs.  She was the team co-ordinator then and brought her perspective and experience as a consumer of mental health services to Kites. Since then Suzy has worked for Kites on several occasions, some over several years, mainly on contract. 

Her work for Kites has varied, including:  to deliver systemic advocacy; consumer leadership development; community consultation; representation on sector advisory groups; project development; writing policies, resources and reports. Suzy has also presented several Kites projects at national and overseas conferences. 

Other roles outside of her work for Kites include working as a consumer advisor, peer auditor, trainer, researcher, reviewer and peer supervisor for individuals and groups.  Suzy is a passionate advocate for the removal of seclusion, compulsory detention and treatment and reforming the values and structure of New Zealand’s mental health system and services. 

Currently she is undertaking action research peer advocacy work that Kites is contracted for by Capital & Coast DHB.  This work is quite specific but additionally she likes to work closely with the other members of Kites staff to contribute to the team environment.

Suzy lives on the Kāpiti Coast with her partner and has three grown-up children, three grandsons and one granddaughter.  In her spare time she loves to go to the beach, tend their veggie garden and curl up with a good book.

Contact Suzy

 

TANE RANGIHUNA

Project Specialist & Cultural Advisor

Tikanga Māori

Taitai, Aorangi, Hikurangi maunga
Toka tu, toka ahuru e kore e nekeneke te tauranga o Nukutaememeha waka.
Wharekia, Whanakao
Ngati Porou motuhake I runga ra te ranganui a Toi
Te hononga o aku tapuae
Ki te whai ao ki te ao marama
Haumie! Hui e!

Tane provides tikanga Māori support and is also undertaking project work. Tane was brought up on the East Coast with his maternal Grandparents and embraces his Māori matauranga.

A competent presenter and facilitator, Tane has a wealth of knowledge about te reo and Māori protocol. Tane also offers cultural training for providers to better understand the “Māori ways of doing things”.

Contact Tane