Nicola Clarke – Te Whanganui-a-Tara Regional Representative

Ko Tainui me Ngātokimatawhāorua ōku waka.

Ko Pirongia me Whakakoro ōku maunga.

Ko Ngāti Māhanga me Ngāti Haua ōku hapū.

Ko Tainui me Te Rarawa ōku iwi.

Ko Nicola Clarke tōku ingoa.

I am happily married and have one adult child.  I live and work in New Plymouth.  I work as a Consumer Advocate and Peer Support kaimahi for a kaupapa Māori Non-Government Organisation (NGO).  My passion for improving and addressing the imbalances with Māori mental health born out of my own lived experience with bipolar disorder.  I was fortunate to have a strong, supportive, loving network of whānau and friends, who pushed and became my voice when I struggled to find that voice for myself.  During my journey, I saw (and still see) not everyone was lucky enough as I was, to have help to navigate such an unknown space during a time when we are vulnerable.  So I began to ask lots of questions and discovered the inequalities that Māori face within the mental health sector.  And so the crusade for change began!  I see it as a huge privilege to be a part of Te Kete Pounamu, and give Māori not only a space to be heard but also a voice so we can affect change for the better.