Our People

Te pā harakeke ō Partners Porirua

Our team, trustees and youth representatives are committed to helping rangatahi develop their talents and achieve every success they want

Our Team

Ā mātou whānau i te mahi

Our team work alongside rangatahi to develop their talents and achieve success by providing opportunities for them to grow through education and training.

Salā Henry Samia

General Manager

Henry has been with the organisation since 2008.    Henry has wide-ranging experience having worked in both the education and government sector, with previous roles at the Ministry of Education, AgITO and Ministry of Social Development.

Born and bred in Porirua, Henry is an active member of the community through church and networking groups.

Henry is passionate about being part of the journey of helping Porirua youth realise their potential.

e: henry@partnersporirua.org.nz
m: 027 229 9208

Michelle Robinson

Principal Advisor

Michelle has been active in supporting rangatahi in Porirua since the formation of Partners Porirua in January 2000. Partners Porirua’s mission is ‘developing youth for the working world’ and in her previous role as executive director, she was the driving force behind setting up the Porirua Youth 2 Work Movement in 2015. Her key role is building strong relationships with stakeholders to help Partners Porirua grow.

Michelle lives by the beautiful Pauatahanui inlet and in her spare time likes being outdoors, walking and gardening.

e: michelle@partnersporirua.org.nz
m:  027 286 1919

John Lafaele

Contract Services Manager 

John leads the team of Youth Service and Tupu Aotearoa Coaches. John has a social work and education background with life-skills that include living and working overseas. As an education and training advisor John has supported many young Porirua residents with their career pathways.

John who is of Samoan decent, is married with three children and is well connected to our community, schools and religious circles. These relationships and connections enable John to reach out and engage with our youth and their fanau in many different spaces in an effort to help benefit young lives.

e: John@partnersporirua.org.nz
m: 021 0887 5900

Jacqui Edwards

Workforce Development Manager

Jacqui is focused on working with businesses and rangatahi to ensure they benefit from being involved with the Porirua Youth 2 Work Movement.

One of her main focuses is on connecting employers and work-ready rangatahi to talk about work opportunities and expectations, where she gets employers and work-ready rangatahi together to “talk about work opportunities and expectations”.

Jacqui spends her time outside of work attending the Hosanna Baptist Church in Cannons Creek and enjoys spending time with whanau.

Te Ātiawa

e: Jacqui@partnersporirua.org.nz
m: 021 0260 8404

Raylene Hull

Senior Office Administrator

Ray is our Senior Office Administrator, coordinating and overseeing the day-to-day running of our office.

Born and raised in Porirua, Ray comes from a background of 25 years in administration within various sectors. She is passionate about helping our community in all areas, but especially our youth and getting them to where they want to be.

Rays’ downtime activities include spending time with her friends and whanau, walking the trails with her puppy dog and eating Korean food.

Ngati Pikiahu-Waewae, Ngati Tuwharetoa

e: raylene@partnersporirua.org.nz
m: 027 242 2560 

Dave Roche

Youth Coach

Dave has a background working with children and teenagers, previously as a teacher aide and sports coordinator/coach.

He is passionate about helping young people to recognize and reach their potential and especially loves using sport, recreation and team based activities to achieve this.

Dave has lived in Porirua for most of his life and currently lives in the beautiful Titahi Bay with his wife. In his spare time, Dave loves surfing, playing sport and spending time with his friends and whanau.

e: Dave.Roche@partnersporirua.org.nz
m: 027 242 5959

Nani Kirk

Youth Coach

Nani’s passion for bridging gaps and amplifying the voices and needs of rangatahi comes from seven years experience being a kōhanga reo educator. Nani has completed her Bachelor of Youth Development and her first introduction to Partners Porirua was through placement for her studies.

Whānau is super important to Nani. She enjoys going to church, singing, Kapa Haka & Cook Island Ura, as well as reading and travelling. One of her biggest flex is that she is Porirua born and raised.

Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue, Manihiki, Pukapuka, Rarotonga

e: nani@partnersporirua.org.nz
m:  027 268 5575

Colleen Johnson

Drive 4 Life Coach

Colleen is a driving instructor and a qualified primary school teacher. Porirua has always been Colleen’s hometown and she has re-joined the Partners team after four and a half years of travelling abroad. Colleen is passionate about coaching our young people to be safe, confident and courteous drivers as she truly believes that to have a licence not only benefits the individual, but the whole community.

Colleen lives in the beautiful Titahi Bay with her husband and daughters. When Colleen is not coaching people to drive, she loves being in the garden and socialising with her friends.

e: Colleen@partnersporirua.org.nz
m: 027 227 4883

Wesley Timoteo

Drive 4 Life Coordinator

Born and raised in Auckland and then Australia, Wes moved to Porirua in 2008 and now calls it home.

Wes has a long-time passion for working alongside and mentoring youth. He is passionate about sports and has a background in coordinating youth events and has coached in both rugby codes at school age and club level.

Wes attends the Samoan Methodist Church in Porirua and is heavily involved in the local Samoan Community Mafutaga.

In his spare time Wes loves to travel, spending time with family, singing, playing sports and diving.

e: Wesley@partnersporirua.org.nz
m: 027 214-1177

Josiah Foua

Youth Coach

Josiah is a youth coach at Partners Porirua and has held a variety of roles including supporting many young jobseekers into employment. 

Josiah goes about his mahi in the spirit of generosity, as he is passionate about helping young people where there is a need.

On the weekends Josiah enjoys running around after his three daughters and eating Goody Goody Gum Drops ice-cream.

e: Josiah@partnersporirua.org.nz
m: 027 539 0243

Jennie Wang

Youth Coach & Education Pathways 

Jennie is originally from Taiwan, she immigrated to New Zealand 22 years ago. Jenny has significant experience working with young people and she has a Bachelor of Youth Development from Weltec. Her background was as a kindergarten teacher in Taiwan, she has worked as a faith-based youth worker,  and as a mentor for International students living in New Zealand.

In her free time Jennie loves to read books, knit and spend time with her two teenage daughters.

e: jennie@partnersporirua.org.nz
m:  027 214 4339

Allyson Tone

Navigator Coach

Ally is a navigator coach for the Tupu Aotearoa service, working with Pacific People to ensure they have the right tools, education and employment opportunities to help them succeed.

Ally enjoys working with the rangatahi of Porirua and is keen to support them in anyway she can.

Ally’s hobbies are playing sports, spending time with family and eating sushi.

e: allyson@partnersporirua.org.nz
m:  027 539 0241

Ruby Sei

Communications and Projects Assistant

Ruby is our Communications and Projects Assistant. She helps with project coordination and marketing which involves updating our website and social media platforms. 

Raised in Porirua, being involved in community initiatives, groups and her local church is important to her, “I am passionate about young people and our contribution to the future.”  Ruby’s favourite pastimes are art, dance and sports.

Te Ātiawa, Taranaki

e: ruby@partnersporirua.org.nz

Payton Mikara

Youth Coach

Payton worked on a placement at Partners Porirua and when she completed her Bachelor of Social Work degree she joined the organisation as a coach.

Payton is born and bred in Porirua and brought up to embrace the concept of serving her community. She actively takes part in community events, church and work life.

In her downtime, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, going to concerts and festivals and keeping active.

Ngāti Kahungunu

e: Payton@partnersporirua.org.nz
m:  027 214 1515

Julia Robertson

Education Partnerships and Pathways Facilitator 

Julia’s role is to bring together business, educators and the community with the aim of having all our young people earning or learning.

Julia comes from a legal background. After 12 years practicing as a lawyer and becoming a mum, Julia wanted to do something different in her community.  Julia is passionate about helping Porirua youth find their own voice, recognising their potential and planning a pathway for their future.

Julia lives in Titahi Bay with her husband, two sons and dog. Julia loves spending time at the beach, drinking coffee from Aloha and attending zumba on Saturday mornings.

e: julia@partnersporirua.org.nz

Theodora Kome

 Navigator Coach

Theodora (Dora) is a Navigator working with Pacific youth in the Tupu Aotearoa service, helping to ensure that they have the right resources to transition into education or employment.  Dora graduated in Business Management (major in Sales and Marketing) and then worked for a community health organisation. Dora is now excited to be working with youth and to share her knowledge.

Born and raised in Porirua, Dora is passionate about bringing out the best in our young people and creating opportunities for them to flourish and succeed in whatever pathway they are willing to pursue.

Dora spends her spare time at church working with youth. She enjoys reading and spending quality time with family and friends.

e: theodora@partnersporirua.org.nz
m: 027 539 0240 

Fatu Fomai

 Youth Coach

Fatu brings to Partners Porirua a wealth of knowledge and experience, combining previous careers in social services and financial literacy. As an active member of this community, Fatu has a vested interest in developing youth on their pathways and supporting their individual journey. 

Outside of work Fatu is heavily involved in the church ministry and is a seasoned musician. He is a devoted husband and father to five beautiful children with one on the way.

e: Fatu@partnersporirua.org.nz 
m: 027 250 1902

Ian Mareko

Drive 4 Life Coach

As one of our Drive 4 Life coaches, Ian loves working with rangatahi and experiencing the challenges of teaching young people how to drive.

He believes that helping youth get their licences is about more than helping them to drive, it’s about a sense of achievement and the ability to move forward regardless of what’s happening in their lives.

Ian previously worked Whanau Manaaki Kindergarten for ten years transporting children under five to and from home-based education and Porirua kindergartens.

Proudly born and raised in Porirua, Ian is a first-generation New Zealander of Samoan parents.

Outside of work, he loves going to the gym and enjoys live music.

e: Ian@partnersporirua.org.nz 
m: 027 233 6956

Eliza Sullivan

 Tupu and Youth 2 Work Support 

Born and raised in Porirua, Eliza is deeply passionate about nurturing the potential of young people and fostering pathways for their success in whatever endeavours they choose to pursue.

She sees it as a privilege to be involved in community initiatives that directly impact the future of those in her hometown.

Eliza attended Mana College and then worked in retail learning about customer service and customer care. Her love of helping others led her to Partners Porirua where she works closely with rangatahi, supporting them in every possible way.

Beyond work, Eliza takes great joy in playing softball, spending time with family, and indulging in delectable cuisine.

e: Eliza@partnersporirua.org.nz 
m: 027 237 8570

Jackson Brockie

 Drive 4 Life Assistant 

Jackson is a valuable addition to our Drive 4 Life team providing administration support for our driving coaches and running the learners’ course.

As a former Partner’s Porirua client, Jackson has a unique perspective to offer our clients. He obtained his learner and restricted licences through our services and is a great advocate for our Drive 4 Life programme.

In his spare time Jackson is usually spending time with his family and friends or training to prepare for his kickboxing fights.

e: Jackson@partnersporirua.org.nz 
m: 027 398 8924 

Our Youth Voice

Our young employees and youth representatives ensure that we have a strong youth voice guiding what we do and keeping us true to our organisation’s core values.

Justino Mariri

Youth Board Representative

Justino has been supported by Partners Porirua to get her Learners and Restricted Licences. She is now studying Social Work at Whitireia/Weltec. Justino provides a youth perspective to the Partners Porirua Board.

Madix Bailey

Youth Board Representative

A Year 13 student who was previously student rep on the Mana College board of trustees.  Madix is a natural leader who thrives in productions, drama, and visual arts.   Madix participated in the 2023 and 2024 Mayoral Forums and has provided feedback to Council on issues important to rangatahi including the development of the Titahi Beach area.

Ana Stratford

Youth Board Representative

Ana is a Year 13 student at Mana College. Ana flourishes in music, singing, drama and many other areas.  Ana participated in the 2023 and 2024 Mayoral Forums.  She said she enjoyed hearing others’ point of view,  she thinks rangatahi want to talk about what is important to them and it was good to be heard.

Our Trustees

Our trustees bring educational knowledge, community understanding, business and professional experience and insights and are committed to making a positive social contribution to Porirua youth.

They have a clear focus on the organisation’s purpose and the boundaries within which they should operate. Each year, youth representatives join the trustees to ensure that a youth voice is heard in alignment with the organisation’s core values.

Kaye Brunton

Chairperson
Career Background: Education

Former primary school principal now working in professional learning and development for primary and secondary schools

Chris Wood

Trustee
Secondary school representative
Deputy Principal, Porirua College

Maureen Gillon

Trustee
Social and civic representative
Career background: Local government and health

Paulette O'Reily

Trustee
Career background: Accounting and Not for Profits

Estelle Fiso-Waters

Trustee
Career Background: Business and Human Resource

Magele Maria Uluilelata

Trustee
Pacific and Community Representative
Career Background: Chief Advisor Pacific at Ohu Mahi Workforce Development Council

Wiremu Wineera

Trustee
NgātiToa Rangatira
Career background: Business and Information Technology