Kia Tupu, Kia Hua, Kia Puāwai
To grow, to flourish, to prosper
Kia Tupu, Kia Hua, Kia Puāwai
To grow, to flourish, to prosper
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We believe our tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau deserve to thrive.

We believe our rangatahi deserve to thrive. We draw from te ao Māori and tauiwi knowledge to strengthen your wellbeing, mana and wairua. Test

Our Tikanga

aroha, whanaungatanga,
manaakitanga, wairuatanga

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Our Stories


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August 10, 2022
15 mins

Our People

Marion Heeney
Chief Executive / Kaiwhakahaere

MBA, University of Auckland

A passionate advocate for young people, Marion has focused her career on creating positive change for tamariki, rangatahi and whanau. Alongside senior leadership roles for organisations including Child Youth and Family and Presbyterian Support Northern, she has worked in the DHB and finance sectors, and is a member of the Institute of Directors. Marion is married to Paul and they have two awesome sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law and three amazing grandchildren (so far!)

Juliet Erihe
Director of Operations, Ngāpuhi, Ngātiwai


Juliet has an extensive background in a variety of social service settings and has specific expertise in both the care and protection and youth justice areas. Her background in social work, and her leadership roles within Oranga Tamariki and Te Ora Hou, have proven invaluable, and it is this wealth of experience, knowledge and foundational support has been instrumental in helping Kia Puāwai expand in the Te Tai Tokerau region.

Pita Te Ngaru

Ngāti Patupō, Ngaati Mahuta, Ngaati Hikairo, Ngaati Te Wehi, Ngāti Mahanga.

An experienced te reo Māori teacher, and trainer and facilitator – with a particular focus on working with young offenders and mentoring young Māori – Pita is integral to our bicultural journey. As the national Kaumātua of Kia Puāwai, he hosts many noho marae throughout the year, across different programmes and services, with staff groups around the country.

Russell Fernandes
Director of Finance and IT

Russell has extensive commercial and leadership experience in operations and finance. Before joining Kia Puāwai, Russell was the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for a large non-profit in New Zealand. Russell’s passion is to make people’s mahi easier, by collaborating with the teams to improve processes and the outcomes for the people they serve. Away from Kia Puāwai, Russell has two teenage daughters who keep him busy, and can usually be found seeking out new and amazing beaches to explore.

Mark Manaia
Kaitohu Māori, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi, Ngātiwai

BA, BCOM, PGDip Counselling (Dist)

Mark’s journey in social services began at Kia Puāwai more than a decade ago, during which time he also served as Clinical Operations Manager for a large non-governmental organisation in the non-violence sector. Mark was a youth specialist worker, going on to retrain as a counsellor in narrative therapy – working in the harmful sexual behaviour sector and leading and recreating a kaupapa Māori therapeutic service. Mark has extensive knowledge in Māori and Western therapeutic services and practices. A husband, and father to a wonderful son and daughter, whānau ora is paramount to Mark.

Denise Russell
Director, People and Capability

Denise is a well-respected people and capability leader, with extensive experience in a number of different sectors. She brings a real sense of warmth and understanding, leading a team of highly skilled people and capability practitioners to ensure kaimahi at Kia Puāwai are equipped with the tools and resources to be highly effective in their roles. Denise enjoys spending time with her family, and a triple shot oat milk cappuccino.

Louisa Webster
Kaitohu Hinengaro / Clinical Director

MSc (Criminological Psychology), Registered Psychologist 

Louisa spent many years as a Forensic Psychologist in both practitioner and leadership roles within the UK Prison Service and Ara Poutama Aotearoa. Having specialised in offending risk assessment and rehabilitation, she has a keen focus on helping to create positive long-term outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi. Louisa passionately champions a client-focused approach to delivering best practice through evidence-based approaches that are grounded in strong indigenous knowledge and understanding.

Our Tikanga | Our Values

aroha, manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, wairuatanga

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