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Meet the MidCentral Governance Group

 The MidCentral Governance Group are both members of our disabled, families and service provider community and people with specific skill sets.  The members hold Ministerial appointments.

Peter Allen (Chair)

Peter’s whakapapa has links to Rangitane, one of the local iwi within MidCentral. Peter has a visual impairment. Peter spent twenty years in the Royal New Zealand Air Force and for the last 9 years has worked as a civilian logistics analyst for the NZ Army at Linton Military Camp developing his strategic overview skills. Peter is a member of the Retina NZ management committee (a small, incorporated society) that includes both governance and management responsibilities.  Peter supports the intent and vision of Mana Whaikaha of giving more choice and control to disabled people and whanau as it is humanity in its most basic form – control over your life.

 Email: Peter.Allen@manawhaikaha.co.nz

Lorna Sullivan (Co-Chair)

Lorna has a long history of working for change in the disability sector, mainly in New Zealand, and is dedicated to changing the power dynamics between service systems, people with disabilities and their families.  Lorna is committed to working directly with people, families and communities to develop approaches that support the lives of people with disabilities and reduce life-long dependency on funded systems. She played an instrumental role in developing the Individualised Funding scheme and was active in implementing change within service systems, including as one of the first Directors of Mana Whaikaha.

Lorna has also worked extensively in Australia as executive director for the Disability Services Act 1993 (NSW) with a specific focus on readiness for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the transition of Australian Government services to its NGO sector.   Along with a role as Director of Disability Reform for a major service provider in Queensland.

Prior to this, her roles in New Zealand included chief executive of independent NGO ImagineBetter, NZCCS national services development manager, and is this the coordinator of the International Initiative for Disability Leadership.

Rachel Kenny


 Rachel represents the views of hundreds of people with a learning disability living in the MidCentral region.  She has lived experience which inspires her helping others speak up to have a better life, more choice and control.  As well as being an active member (and Treasurer) of People First Manawatu, she has knowledge of rights and experience in running self-advocacy meetings for IDEA Services.   Rachel has spoken up about education, living in residential services, lack of staffing and how hard it is to speak when things aren’t going well.

Martin Sullivan


Martin has been involved as an academic activist in disability issues for most of his life.  He sees the Enabling Good Lives – System Transformation as the best framework ever proposed in Aotearoa for disabled people to build the kind of lives they want.  This because Enabling Good Lives – System Transformation has been co-designed with disabled people to the fore and because it is principles-based.  He wants the MidCentral prototype to be successful – that is why he is serving on the Governance Group where he has strategic input.

Rasela Fuauli


 Rasela has an affinity with people; she is a parent of children with disability, a teacher with 11 years’ experience and a manager of Pasifika for Tomorrow in which she walks alongside Pasifika people and provides support to maximise their potential. Rasela’s strong connections with the Pasifika communities in the MidCentral area assists Mana Whaikaha introduction into their families.

Pip Brunn


Pip has been married to William for 27 years and together they are parents of 6 daughters. Pip believes all people come with their own gifts, talents and challenges and that all of these should be respected and valued. She spent her parenting years at Playcentre and appreciates the lifelong learning valued in that environment. Pip has been an active member of The Learning and Behaviour Charitable Trust and is currently a member of the Enabling Good Lives Leadership Group and the MidCentral DHB Consumer Council. Pip’s beliefs and lived experienced have given her strength as an advocate for her daughter and other families helping them find their voice or to be their voice. Pip represents children and families and brings them to the forefront through her role with the MidCentral Governance Group as the disability support system undergoes transformation.

Peter Ireland


Peter has been a union organiser with the Public Service Association for 13 years.  During that time, he has worked extensively in the disability, community health and DHB areas.  Peter has also been an advocate for a family member with a learning disability.  Peter’s knowledge and clarity of thinking around employment matters will be valued in the Mana Whaikaha workforce development stream.

Angela Hobden


Angela is a chartered accountant who works in Palmerston North. She was the strategic financial manager for the Rangitikei District Council and was the financial accountant for Northland Regional Council. In these roles, she has been responsible for developing budgets and financial policies, and the financial strategic direction. Angela has comprehensive experience with long-term budgeting and preparing reports for diverse audiences that include the perspectives of the community.

Aroha Lowe


Oriana Paewai


Toni Griffiths