Learn more about the Board members

Learn more about the background of the eight Transformation Management Board community members.

The Transformation Management Board, which met for the first time on 9 February 2024, is made up of:

  • Three tāngata whaikaha Māori 
  • Three disabled people
  • One whānau member
  • One family member
  • Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People executive leaders:
    • Paula Tesoriero, Chief Executive
    • Ben O'Meara, Deputy Chief Executive Strategy and Partnerships
    • Amanda Bleckmann, Deputy Chief Executive Commissioning, Design and Delivery.

Board members who are not from Whaikaha were selected by an independent panel which included Jonathan Godfrey, Ann Hawker and Nigel Ngahiwi.

Learn about the community Board members

Barry De Geest

A thalidomide survivor, Barry has been championing disability rights for more than 40 years. He co-founded and is Chief Executive/Director of the Renaissance Group.

He is also on several boards and advisory panels within the health and disability sector including Auckland Council’s Disability Advisory Panel. Until 2023 he was the chair of Taikura, an Auckland-based Needs Assessment and Service Coordination service.

Delia Nolan 

Delia is Board Chair and interim Chief Executive for the Standards and Monitoring Services. She was formerly Kaitohu Tumuaki – Lead Human Rights Advisor to the Chief Human Rights Commissioner and is a strong advocate for tāngata whaikaha Māori.

She has an extensive background in policy and has collaborated on many policy projects across government to improve systems and outcomes for communities, including the Family Violence Sexual Violence Joint Venture. Delia is currently working towards completing a Master’s Degree in Indigenous Studies.

Kellie McGrath

Kellie is an experienced leader and change manager across people, systems and processes both in the United Kingdom and in New Zealand. She has lived experience of disability, both personally and as a parent of a disabled child.

Kellie has worked across a number of sectors and is a member of the Institute of Directors and the Podiatrists Board of New Zealand. She was a Programme Manager on the Oranga Tamariki Action Plan working closely with six children’s agencies to improve outcomes for tamariki and rangitahi whaikaha Māori and Pasifika. 

Fonoti Pati Umaga QSM

Pati was involved in setting up Whaikaha as a member of the Establishment Unit Community Reference Group, the Whaikaha Community Steering Group, and the Better Outcomes Partnership Group. He is Co-Chair of Mana Pasefika Disabled Peoples Organisation, Co-Kaitiaki Whānau Ora Interface Group and former Chair of the Enabling Good Lives Leadership Group.

He was awarded a Queens Service Medal (QSM) for services to the Pacific community, was the inaugural winner of the first Creative New Zealand Pacific Arts Toa Awards and has been inducted into the Attitude Awards Hall of Fame. 

Peter Allen

Peter is Chair of the Enabling Good Lives Mana Whaikaha Midcentral Governance Group. He is a member of the Disabled Peoples Core Group of Enabling Good Lives. He works for My Life, My Voice Charitable Trust in Palmerston North which provides programmes and services to the disabled community.

He is also on the board of Workbridge, has been on the National Enabling Good Lives Leadership Group, and was involved with the establishment of Whaikaha through the Establishment Unit Governance Group and Better Outcomes Partnership Board. 

Ray King

Ray is the father of two sons with autism and leads Dads of Autism Hamilton.  He is currently a trustee of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Mahuta ki te Hauāuru and a director of The Disability Trustee. Ray served for three years in the New Zealand Army, followed by six years working in various leadership roles with The Warehouse Group.

Other roles of Ray have included being a youth mentor,leadership coach and a group facilitator for Waiora Tamariki.  

Renata Kotua

Renata has an extensive background in disability service development, advocacy, governance and health research. She has spent the past few years working for the Cerebral Palsy Society, initially on the board then as Co-President.

She now works for the Society as their Member Support and Programme Coordinator for Youth and Young Adults. She is also a Trustee for Your Way Kia Roha and a Disability Advisor for the Driving Change Network which helps disabled people get their driver’s licence.  She has also served on the Disability Advisory Panel for Auckland Council.