About Us


Tuia te rangi e tu nei
Tuia te papa e takoto nei
Tuia i te here tangata
Tihei Mauriora
He honore, he kororia ki te atua i runga rawa
He whakaaro maha ki a ratou kua haere ki te wahi ngaro
Ki te tini, ki te mano, rau rangatira ma anei nga wharangi whakamohio o Te Tiranga Hauora Hinengaro
Nau mai, piki mai, whakatau mai.

The Chief Executive and Board welcome you to the Mental Health Foundation's website and invite you to read about who we are and what we do.

Take a look at our organisational structure, last updated August 2014. 

Our work

The Mental Health Foundation's work focuses on making mental health everybody's business.

What we do is diverse and expansive, with campaigns and services that cover all aspects of mental health and wellbeing. We take a holistic approach to mental health, promoting what we know makes and keeps people mentally well.

We provide free information and training, and advocate for policies and services that support people with experience of mental illness, and also their families/whanau and friends.

Our structure

Established in 1977 from the proceeds of a telethon, the Foundation is a charitable trust, with a governing board. Board members are experts in their fields - they are professionals who collectively guide the direction of the Foundation.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi and The Ottawa Charter are the core documents from which the principles and values of the Foundation's constitution are based, and the board is committed to directing the work of the Foundation to reflect this.

We value the expertise of mental health consumers/tangata whaiora and incorporate these perspectives into all the work we do. The Foundation funds its work through donations, grants and contract income.

Our people

We have three offices nationwide, in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with 35 staff in total.

Auckland is the national office, where the Foundation's overarching services are based: the executive team, administration, finance, fundraising and communications. This office is also home to our Resource & Information Service library, the northern region mental health promotion team and the project managers for Like Minds, Like Mine and Suicide Prevention Information New Zealand (SPINZ).

Wellington's focus is on policy, advocacy and research, and Christchurch is the hub of South Island mental health promotion.

Our staff members come from a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences, including: mental health promotion; community development; consumer/tangata whaiora experience and advocacy; education; research; finance, corporate and business; a range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and much, much more.

Collectively, we bring dynamic energy and passion, and a wealth of knowledge to the work of improving mental health and wellbeing for all New Zealanders.

Board of Trustees

Members of the Foundation's Board of Trustees are people with mental health expertise as well as legal, management and financial skills and include Maori, Pacific Nation and tangata whaiora/mental health consumer representatives.

Board representatives also come from a wide geographical reach, covering urban and rural, metropolitan and provincial areas. This combination of skills and life experience delivers the highest level of governance to the organisation.


Anne Candy
Egan Bidois
Jeremy Gardiner (Chair)
David Lui
Materoa Mar (Deputy Chair, Maori Caucus Chair)
Janene Olson (Finance Commitee Chair)
Sarah Paykel
Sarah Porter (Policy Committee Chair)
William Rainger (Remuneration Committee Chair)
Rochelle Stewart-Withers
Kirsty Wilkinson

Our whakatauki


In June 2013, MHF staff and board members gathered at the Whatua Kaimarie Marae in Pt Chevalier, Auckland,  to celebrate the adoption of a new whakataukī: mauri tū, mauri ora.

Mauri refers to the life force or latent energy found in all things. Mauri tū refers to stability and a sense of space for this energy, and in this contect covers both communities and individuals. Mauri ora refers to the unleashing of this energy to actively support and create wellbeing. 

This korero is a constant reminder to all those associated with the Mental Health Foundation of our commitment to actively support both individuals and communities to flourish through the unleashing of positive energy and strategies to effect wellbeing.

Top Page last updated: 27 August 2014