The purpose of the mental health and addiction (MHA) quality improvement programme consumer advisory group is to provide quality advice and support, from the consumer/lived experience perspective, to the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s MHA quality improvement programme. This includes support of, and participation in, programme events and projects and assisting connecting the programme with a wide and diverse range of consumers, families and whānau.

The advisory group started in May 2018 and meets quarterly in March, June, September and December. It comprises six consumers who were selected using an open application process.

The group is chaired by the national consumer (family and whānau) engagement advisor, Shaun McNeil, and secretariat is provided by the Commission.

For further information about the MHA programme and its consumer advisory group, contact Shaun on

Group members:

Shaun McNeil (chair)

Man smiling at the cameraShaun McNeil is the Commission's national consumer (family and whānau) engagement advisor. Shaun has a wealth of knowledge and experience as a leader in mental health services and suicide prevention, both in New Zealand and Scotland. Shaun is also involved in policy, consumer advocacy and health promotion, including membership of the advisory group to the national depression initiative and advising the Ministry of Health on suicide prevention. He has a bachelor of science in mental health practice and a background in mental health nursing.

Egan Bidois

Ko Takitimu, ko Mataatua, ko Te Arawa ōku waka
Takitimu, Mataatua, Te Arawa are (the names of) my ancestral canoes
Ko Ngāti Ranginui, ko Ngaiterangi, ko Te Arawa ōku iwi
Ngati Ranginui, Ngaiterangi, Te Arawa are (the names of) my ancestral tribes
Ko Pirirākau, ko Ngāti Pikiao, ko Ngāti Whakaue ōku hapu
Pirirākau, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue are (the names of) my ancestral sub-tribes
Ko Poututerangi, ko Rakeiao, ko Te Takinga ōku marae
Poututerangi, Rakeiao, Te Takinga are (the names of) my ancestral meeting-houses/places
Ko Egan Bidois tōku ingoa
My name is Egan Bidois

Egan lives in Whanganui and has worked and volunteered in the mental health sector at both governmental/non-Government levels, district health boards (DHBs) and NGOs for over 20 years. He is currently employed as a team coach for Pathways Whanganui. Egan wishes to influence future care and support which does not result in the hurdles and hurt that he experienced. He brings forward experiences and perspectives seldom heard and advocates on behalf of those who, for whatever reason, do not choose to speak.

Leilani Maraku

Ko Tararua te maunga
Ko Manawatu te awa
Ko Ngāti Raukawa te iwi
Ko Leilani Maraku tōku ingoa.

Leilani is the manukura (chief executive) for Mana o te Tangata Trust, a kaupapa Māori mental health and addiction peer support service in the MidCentral region. Leilani is from Palmerston North and is a member of Te Kete Pounamu, the national voice for Māori with lived experience of mental distress and/or addiction. She is the co-chair of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Connected Workforce Leadership Group in the MidCentral region and is chair of the turāmarama kaupapa Māori suicide prevention rōpū.

Leilani was elected as a joint mental health representative on the Ministry of Health’s NGO Council and recently elected as a executive board member of Dapaanz (Drug and Alcohol Practitioners’ Association Aotearoa New Zealand) – the professional organisation for people working in addiction treatment). Leilani is a strong advocate in ensuring that the voice of tangata whaiora (consumers) and their whānau are included and being heard. Leilani believes it is paramount that we implement a whole system paradigm change across all sectors.

Leo McIntyre

Ko Remutaka te maunga
Ko Awakiarangi te awa
Ko Kōtimana me Aerihi ōku iwi
Ko Leo McIntyre tōku ingoa.

Leo is from Wellington and has worked/volunteered in the mental health and addiction sector for over 16 years, in a variety of consumer and management roles. He is currently chair of Balance Aotearoa, a national consumer-led and run NGO, and he is also a contractor working in mental health and private business. He represents Balance Aotearoa on the Disabled Persons Organisations (DPO) Coalition. Leo also has experience as a family member, supporting people with disabilities and mental health issues.

Martin Burke

Martin is from Dunedin, but now lives in Auckland. He is the consumer advisor for the Salvation Army in their addiction, reintegration, supportive accommodation and palliative care directorate. He lectures at the University of Otago (Canterbury) on addictions and mental health, at the National Addictions Centre. He has been a consumer advisor at Southern District Health Board (DHB) as well as Canterbury DHB in the forensic services area. He is also a member of the Alliance South Community Health Council. He is particularly interested in the peer/lived experience/service user contribution to academia and brings addiction expertise to the group.

Penelope Saunders-Francis

Pene is from rural Wairarapa and is a member of the Wairarapa MHA Consumer Leadership Group. She is also on the 3DHB (Capital & Coast, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs) lived experience advisor group and the technical advisory group for the substance addiction (compulsory assessment and treatment) legislation. Her significant lived experience of addiction has led to her membership of the Central Regional Residential AOD (alcohol and other drug) Evaluation Panel, having worked for over 30 years to achieve better health outcomes for her peers, who are some of the most marginalised groups of consumers. She is passionate about genuine consumer involvement.

Tamara Waugh

Tamara is from Auckland and is employed by the systemic advocacy organisation, Changing Minds. Her role as programme lead of their national lived experience leaders initiative, Rākau Roroa, sees her leading around 100 tall trees (lived experience leaders) in all regions of the country. She founded The Happiness Experiment in 2012, a social enterprise bringing a gratitude practice called ‘3 good things’ as a mobile app and journal to youth, community groups and aged care residential homes.

Tamara sits at the table on the Commission's consumer network, an advisory group for the Commission's Partners in Care programme, numerous community bodies and the income generation committee for Help Foundation. She is finishing off the transformational leadership programme at Yale Divinity School and is newly elected to the strategic leadership group of Equally Well. She identifies with the rainbow community.

Last updated 10/10/2019