Kia ora koutou
Ko Horouta te Waka
Ko Maungahaumi te Maunga
Ko Mangatu te Marae
Ko Ngaariki Kaiputahi te Iwi
Ko Peneha rāua ko Brown ngā ingoa whānau nō Te Tairāwhiti, nō reira,
He uri ahau nō Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tūhoe hoki.
Mauri ora!!

Kia ora, my name is Jeremy Tumoana. I am 48 years old this year and am very grateful for where I am in my life, being a loved father, uncle, cousin, friend, partner, brother, son and colleague. It has been a lifetime of lived experience and positive recovery support that has brought me to this point…in one piece!! I was born in Gisborne and lived most of my life split between the South and North Islands as my intrinsic whānau attribute was itchy feet!! Another attribute, since I am an avid free diver, is my capability to spot a pāua, kina or cray at 15 metres with limited visibility – my sixth sense perhaps. I am a grateful father of three awesome children, Nikau 22, Tanera 20, and Amiria 15.

I have had extensive experience working in a wide range of sectors, including the various management roles at the Ministry of Health and in general practice, District Health Boards and Non-Government Organisations focused on health and social services. I have also worked in philanthropy, and community and education sectors. My most recent role till April 2019 was 5 years working as Regional Portfolio Manager Mental Health & Addictions for the Central Region. I have subsequently developed broad foundational knowledge of the mental health and addictions sector, and experience in the administration and leadership of national, regional and local mental health and addiction programme delivery.

My lived experience of mental health and addiction recovery is a key strength that I bring to my professional capability. I believe this has given me a great understanding of varying aspects true and realistic outcomes for tangata whaiora. Particularly in reducing the level of prejudice and discrimination that occurs frequently for Māori and the level of horrendous outcomes experienced by Māori within our health system in general, particularly mental health.

I now have two roles using my lived experience. I currently work in is as an education facilitator with the New Zealand Police and Otago Medical School 5th and 6th year student programmes. This role is part of the “World of Difference” programme led by the Otago University Service User Academia Team and involves working with people suffering from mental distress, from a lived experience perspective. My role title in this programme is ‘Service User Responsiveness Maori’ within the two education programmes.

My other role is Kaiwhakahaere (General Manager) of Te Paepae Arahi Trust, a hardworking, dedicated team of kaupapa Māori health professionals working to support individuals and whānau that suffer from mental distress in the Lower and Upper Hutt regions. One of very few remaining kaupapa Māori mental health organisations left in the country or at least our region in particular. I am truly blessed to be able to work as an employee of Te Paepae Arahi Trust and our waka is moving forward on many levels to advance and support Māori mental wellbeing overall.

I am also excited, and equally wary, of the level of change required and the level of change occurring through the mental health sector, particularly with the recent governmental directives resulting in the much supported Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry and the subsequent Wellbeing Budget 2019. I wish to acknowledge the hard working Mental Health & Addictions professionals I have been privileged to meet and work with over recent times, for which we would not have our current ‘strengths’ in terms of leadership and political voices of change that are present today. Kaupapa Māori Mental Health is now my personal and professional priority, and the past decade has seen a great amount of disinvestment and damage done to this service sector that is crucial for the positive change and maintenance for effective service delivery to Māori. This highlights the importance to positively influencing and hopefully controlling a national agenda from Māori positioning, as control of the agenda ultimately informs the change within the discourse. So “mana motuhake”, “tino rangatiratanga”,” ka whawhai tonu mātou” remain relevant and strong statements today as much as they have ever been since my Auckland University days in 1992 where Ranginui Walker first lectured my peers and I around these important facets of self-determination.

Nō reira, he waka eke noa, he waka hauora mō ngā iwi katoa… kia mau!! Hoe! Hoe! Hoe a raa!!

Mauri ora

Jeremy Tumoana

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