Our Board 

Meet our highly skilled and professional Board to take Fonua Ola towards the vision of sustainable future.

Epenesa Olo-Whaanga
Chairperson 

 

Epenesa Olo-Whaanga [MA (Hons), PGDipClinPsy) is a Clinical Psychologist. She has worked in the public mental health services since 2001 initially specialising in infant, child, adolescent and family mental health. She is the Principal Advisor Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions with the Ministry of Health. Previously she was managing a specialist public Pasifika mental health and addictions service in Auckland. Epenesa also has her own private practice.  Prior to professional training however, Epenesa served in community activity like running a youth group, being  licensee of a Samoan Aoga Amata. Born in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Epenesa proudly maintains her connections in Savai’i, Samoa. She has also worked in the Cook Islands and Vanuatu and is passionate about supporting people to grow and develop.

Manase Lua
Vice Chair  

Manase studied at Auckland University and has a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts (Honours) in English. My academic focus was mainly in post-colonial New Zealand and Pacific literature. I also dabbled in creative writing and poetry under the esteemed presence and guidance of Albert Wendt and Witi Ihimaera.
 
Manase started his career at the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs in 1996, where he worked for five years. Then left the public service to work for a couple of years as a consultant and then for a small Pacific disability provider. He returned to the public service where he worked in the Disability Services Directorate of the Ministry of Health in 2003 before joining Le Va within Te Pou in March, 2008. After five amazing and fulfilling years at Le Va, he decided to take up a senior leadership role as Disability and Pacific Workforce Manager for Te Pou in April, 2013.

Ali'imuamua Sandra Alofivae (MNZM)
Board Member 

 

Ali’imuamua Sandra Alofivae is a South Auckland based children’s Barrister. She is one of the four commissioners for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care. Community-minded and family-focused, Sandra has spent over 20 years representing children, young people and their families, and is a former Families Commissioner. After graduating in 1989, she worked in general law practice, and began to see the extent to which some families were struggling. In 1994, Sandra was a founding Partner of community-focused firm King, Alofivae and Malosi. In 2002 she became a Partner at KAM Legal and since 2005 has been a Barrister Sole at KAM Legal Chambers, based in Manukau, South Auckland. Sandra also works on a voluntary basis with both church and education based organisations, and is of Samoan heritage

Hamish Crooks (MNZM)
Board Member 

 

Hamish Crooks is the current Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Homecare, having been in the role since 2010. Hamish has worked in the private, community, and public sectors over the last 30 years. He is an active board member of the Second Nature Community Trust in Manukau (The Vodafone Events Centre www.pacific.org.nz/ and Wero Project www.wero.org.nz ) , a Trustee of Pacific Peoples Advancement Trust (www.ppat.org.nz) responsible for the Pacific Advance Senior School (www.pass.school.nz), a board member of Taikura Trust Board (www.taikura.org.nz)and the EmpowerAsia Trust (www.empower.asia ).

 

Hamish has a passion for community and economic development work in relation to Pacific communities. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Otago University and an MBA in Economic Development from Eastern University in Philadelphia, USA. Hamish is of Cook Island and Scottish descent.