Grassroots Speaker Bios

Ngaro Hape

Hi, my Name is Ngaro Hape. Everyone calls me Nuds. Youngest of 4 siblings. My Mum is June Anderson and my Dad is John Hape. Both now deceased…Born and raised here in Hawkes Bay. I have 4 beautiful kids. Jordan 32, Danielle 28, Tyler 23 and Mia 13.

At a young age, I owned my own home, had a wife and 3 awesome kids. Life was good. I worked hard and committed myself to my family. Had a secure job, and at times worked 2 jobs to make things easier. Then at the age of 37, my life changed after my 23 year marriage ended.

I was in a state of shock for years, but you wouldn’t have guessed it. Everything I worked hard for was gone. I went to hell and back to fight to have access to my kids and keep my sanity.
I went through depression, yet didn’t even realise it until a negative thought took hold and I realised then that I needed to get help. That was in November 2009. That was the day my whole world changed for the better. I became a patient of Oranga Hinengaro at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga. The rest is history and the making of a better me. That place saved my life…

Right now… I have worked at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga for the past 12 years. From patient to Kaimahi. I have worked in many roles. MH support worker. Suicidal Ideation and Complex Needs for 3 years.
Whanau Ora Navigator for 12 months then seconded to The main registration Hub for 2 years. The was shoulder tapped to join a pilot MDT team called Matataki, which was a quick response team for anything that walked in the door that no one else could handle. In this role, I worked with Rangatahi, the Police. Became a Domestic Violence Facilitator, and also became an I Endorsed Driving Instructor, working with Whanau with low self esteem and anxiety. I had a 99 percent pass rate, which isn’t easy in Hastings, as Hastings is known to be the hardest place to get your licence…

I am proud to say that, today August 2022 I am now a Team Manager for 2 teams being Hiwa I te Rangi, who support Whanau whose thoughts, feelings or actions affect their mental health and wellbeing. Also I lead a service called Whanau Ora, where Whanau are supported to reach their Dreams and Aspirations. Whanau Led, Whanau Driven…

My presentation is real. It starts right from what my anxiety attacks looked and felt like, to where I was at that time. Moving forward with support. I share some strategies to cope, then what life looks like now.  My journey since has been amazing. I have a dream of travelling the length of NZ, and sharing my journey of Depression. But I firmly believe that I should start in my own backyard before I think too far ahead.  It will be my pleasure to share my journey with you all… it’s a passion for me to move someone forward towards the light.

Ohhh, my nickname Nuds stands for…. No-one Understands Depression (Suffering in Silence)

See you there

Theresa Whiting

Theresa, or, you can call her Tee; is a Wife, Mother and Grandmother, Nurse, Volunteer Firefighter, Violence and Trauma Survivor and Researcher.

In November 2018 Theresa lost a brother to suicide, and 6 months later, the collateral loss of a sister.  Always one to need to understand the why, Theresa embarked on Post Graduate Study in Violence and Trauma; to date obtaining a Post Graduate Diploma in Violence and Trauma Studies.  This study has allowed her to navigate her loss, and to navigate why her brother and sister travelled the path they did.

This study has brought understanding of the impact of historic trauma and intergenerational trauma transmission; and how through epigenetic changes, we can be pre-disposed to medical and psychological conditions.  Stress, pressure, fear; are more than just a psychological process, they are a whole-body experience.

In both professions, Theresa experiences extremes of stress, pressure, and in certain circumstances, fear; and has learned how her historic trauma impacts on how she reacts in challenging moments, developing decompression techniques to stop these challenges from making contact points where the experience lingers and cumulates, so as not to take these experiences home.

Theresa spent two years working with Firefighters all over Aotearoa New Zealand as the Senior Advisor Psychological Wellbeing providing workshops to all personnel, to improve recognition and understanding of Stress and Distress, and strategies to improve wellbeing.  It is Theresa’s dream to bring the same message to businesses and groups across Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Wayne Forrest

Wayne Forrest is an International Transformational speaker and Life Mastery Consultant, certified by the Brave thinking Institute in LA. He's has shared the stage with well-known thought leaders from around the world.

Wayne grew up in the farming community of Porangahau, on the coast of Hawkes Bay NZ where he farmed for 25 years. He is married to Kathy and live on a small lifestyle block. they have 4 children and 3 Grandchildren.

Wayne says his sporting accident in 1995, leaving him C5 Tetraplegic, was the catalyst for his on-going journey into personal development, which has given him the incredible life that he loves and is very grateful for.

He is a Co-Creator of CHB Swim 4 lives Non for profit, which supports local schools in doing deep water programs and swimming lessons, to help save lives from drowning. The organisation was credited with the biggest impact on children at the 2020 Central Hawkes Bay sports awards.
Wayne shares his journey from the heart to enable others to believe that you too can build and live into your dreams and live a life you love, regardless of the challenges, struggles or perceived disabilities they face.  

He has a TEDx talk on YouTube, about his journey of discovery after a sporting accident that has left himself in the wheelchair, called "How Struggle Helps Us Grow".
'It's a privilege as a Coach to be able to help others to discover their hidden abilities, in themselves. I believe we all have a power inside of us greater than any challenge that we may face, and I like to call this power the inner Warrior!"


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