WHATEVER IT TAKES TRUST INC Mental Health Peer Support Services in Hawkes Bay


WIT’s seed germinated in 2000 with the need to support of one person. It now has over 300 clients on its books. The service was originally a project born out of some work done at The Light House in Napier, a drop-in centre run by people who have experience of mental illness. While peer support and advocacy was happening, there was an obvious need to support people in a more comprehensive way.

Some of these people had fallen through the cracks of the mental health system and needed advocacy as well as resources to find their way back into the community. They were commonly referred to as the “too-hard basket” and were either living on the street or not far from it.

The first person WIT supported was a man who had literally “escaped” from a Level Four residential rehabilitation unit. He had had a long history of using mental health services with frequent visits to the Intensive Psychiatric unit in Hastings. Another person followed, whose cost was tens of thousands of dollars in intensive treatment that included three to four visits a year to the inpatient unit a year. He has never been back to the unit in the years since WIT began supporting him. Another man followed and then another and another.

After more than a dozen of these stories WIT was born. The name WIT came from Hawke’s Bay DHB clinical team manager John Conneely who, when asked at a meeting why WIT was being successful, said: “Because they do whatever it takes”.

WIT now operates a Lighthouse day centre in both Napier and Hastings, recovery programmes at Manaia House in Napier, assists people into safe affordable housing, has a number of residential care facilities in the community, employs advocates to assist mental health consumers, operates ‘return to work’ programmes  and provides whatever support folk with mental health difficulties need to live well in the community.


Andrew White – Andrew joined the Board of WIT in 2017. Andrew (Andy) is currently the General Manager of Hawkes Bay Restorative Justice and was formally General Manager at Hohepa Homes, Hawkes Bay for 10 years. He is an experienced past school teacher and principal and has an MBA from Massey University.

Ewan Gardiner, Financial Advisor to the Board - Ewan is a senior partner and director in the Napier Chartered Accountancy firm of Gardiner Knobloch Ltd. He has held a public practice certificate and been a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants for over thirty years. The firm acts for a wide range of clients, including small and medium sized enterprises across a wide range of industry types. Ewan’s interest is in assisting clients to produce regular financial reports that ensure all those responsible are aware of the performance and position of the enterprise they represent and are well placed to make effective decisions.

John Lightfoot – John also joined the Board of WIT in 2014. John is a retired former shipping company employee who has also worked in the security industry. He has long been a member of various Rotary clubs and has worked on community projects both in Hawkes Bay and in the Auckland area. He has a particular interest in the financial operations of organisations he works with at Board level.

Amanda Rich – Amanda joined the Board of WIT in 2015 and comes to the role as the family member of a client of WIT. Amanda is a Pharmacy Technician and currently works for the Hawkes Bay DHB. She has an ongoing interest in mental health support services and has served on a number of community and sporting organisations’ committees.

Tania Luscombe – Tania is of Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairoa descent and joined the Board of WIT in 2017. Tania has management experience across the education, health, community and social service sectors. She currently works for herself as Innov8 Group Ltd developing collaborative innovation approaches to achieving sustainable outcomes for those underserved in our communities.

Joanne (Jo) Lawrence - is currently the Group Manager of the Office of the Chief Executive and Chair for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.  Before joining the Regional Council, Joanne was Private Secretary to the Associate Minister of Housing and Urban Development and was previously the Advisor to the Regional Commissioner at the Ministry of Social Development in Napier. During her time at the Ministry of Social Development she was the Manager, Business Change and Implementation for a national IT transformation project and the Change Manager for the security response programme at Work and Income following the Ashburton shootings. Previously she was seconded to lead the community welfare response at the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. Before moving to New Zealand, Jo had 18 years as a diplomat in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which included overseas postings to New Zealand, Falkland Islands, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Robert [ Bob] MacFarlane – Tribal Connections:  Ngati Wahiao, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua. Ngati Tuwharetoa – Ngati te Maunga hapu owner of the Whakarawa Block, Western Bays, Lake Taupo. Bob has held both senior management (nation-wide) and governance positions and has been a director of commercial companies.

He has held the following positions -

Chairman: NZ Maori Arts and Crafts Institute (Te Puia) for 7 years during which time the board took the business from a trading deficit, through extensive alterations and improvements, to a healthy profit.  This was a government appointment.

Director:  Te Taumata o Te Puia Ltd – 4 years.  A small tribal group set up as the team to negotiate with Government to transfer NZ Maori Arts & Crafts to tribal ownership.  Tribal appointment.

Committee member: Seconded to the Hastings Mayor’s Special Committee to manage the distribution of the $300,000 Government Grant to orchardists severely affected by a severe hail-storm.

Bill Reilly Bill joined the Board of WIT in 2019 and has recently retired having owned and operated an insurance brokerage firm in Hawkes Bay. He is a foundation Board member of the Napier Old Boys Marist Rugby Club and has a keen interest in rugby. Bill spent 49 Years in the fire and general insurance industry – the last 32 years he owned HBI Insurance Broker  which was successfully sold November 2015. He has 2 Children with 4 Grand Children and has lived in Hawkes Bay since 1972. Bill has been a director of Hawkes Bay Rugby Union and is a Napier Old Boys Marist Rugby Club Life Member. He is also the vice President of Hawkes Bay Club.

Huia Beattie – Huia brings the following skills to the WIT Board in 2019 -

Knowledge of Te Reo Māori, Cultural support for staff and students.  

Advocate in the promotion and development of Māori Health and Education.   

Facilitator of education groups.

Involved in community work inspiring confidence and trust.

Being an integral part of a team.

Ability to implement, plan, and prioritise work load.

Proficient at developing a vision and strategic direction to achieve goals set.

Knowledge of Te Reo Maori ,Tikanga, and Ngati Kahungunu Kawa.

Huia is currently a Trust Board member of: Te Kupenga Hauora – Ahuriri Provider (Deputy Chairperson), The Hostel Board Trustees at Hukarere Māori Girls College, The Proprietors Board Rep for Te Aute Boys College and Hukarere Girls College and a Whanau Marae Committee Trustee (Wairoa).


Caroline Lampp, General Manager –

Caroline has a long history in community social services having worked in the field for more than 20 years. Trained originally as a teacher who then taught for 20 years, Caroline then moved from extensive voluntary work in community organisations to employment in this field. Having a degree in Education, Caroline then completed Post Graduate qualifications in Business Administration specialising in management. She has managed several community organisations in Hawkes Bay in the fourteen years that she has lived here. Caroline holds a number of directorships and is still voluntarily involved in community organisations as well.


Tom Mulligan, MNZM,  – Tom was born in Te Araroa and his iwi is Ngati Porou. He is married to Pikihoro and has four adult children. Tom worked in the meat industry for 41 years, rising to the position of assistant plant manager. Tom has vast governance experience as chairman of the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Football Union from 1991 to 1997; a director of the New Zealand Rugby Union for 17 years; a director of Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, the chairman of Te Taihwnua O Heretaunga for six years and kaumatua to a variety of organisations including Matahiwi Marae, Sport Hawkes Bay and WIT.

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