Mental Health Navigation Team
The Vaka Tautua Pacific Mental Health Navigators are based primarily at the Porirua office. All team members come from backgrounds with relevant or lived experience in the health or community support sector, and are familiar with the support services available that assist service users to reach their self-determined goals for wellness.
Willie Te'o (Team Leader)
Willie Te'o was born in Lower Hutt and raised in Porirua, Wellington. He has one brother and three sisters.
His father was a Wharfie and Mother a Teacher. Willie spent his early years in Porirua where he was educated and he lives with his partner of 22 years. They have 3 children with the two eldests living in Australian and youngest at home attending Tawa College and they are also caring for their oldest Grandchild.
Willie has a background working in Information Technology. He wanted to pursue a career path in the Health Sector. He finds the job satisfaction in his current role very fullfilling and loves making a positive contribution to service users. Seeing consumers acheive their goals and is something he finds very rewarding in his work.
My name is Susanne Jaqualine Cummings, I’m Rarotongan, New Zealand born. I have many years of experience in Mental Health and have a wide knowledge of the Pacific Community in the Wellington region and as well as other regions in New Zealand. I sit on Capital & Coast DHB’s SDIU (Service Development & Integration Unit) Consumer Leadership Group for Pacific, I used to sit as the chairperson for the executive committee for Vakaola Services Delegate Committee, I advocate for Tangata Toa when required. Kia Manuia.
Jacinta Valu is a New Zealand born Samoan. She has been in the Mental Health field for 11 years and used to be a Secretary and Samoan representative for our Vakaola delegate committee. Jacinta was appointed as the Like Minds Like Mine Coordinator for Vakaola Pacific Community Health in 2009 and was involved in the Like Minds, Like Mine Campaign as a Peer Support,. Jacinta is passionate to help support our Pacific Tangata Toa who are living and experience mental distress and to help them to get better and recover.
William Tyrrell was born and raised in Porirua. His mother is Rarotongan and father is Pakeha (European). He is new to the mental health sector and currently studying mental health level 4 and looking to complete his Bachelor of social work. He has a passion for working with people particularly Pacific and Maori communities.
He is excited to be working for an organisation that have strong values and beliefs for our people that support health and well-being.
He has a strong belief that each person should be treated with fairness and equally in our communities. By promoting these values, it allows our people to gain confidence and to become independent without stigma and discrimination in society.