Trust Board

Naomi Cowan - Chairperson

Naomi is currently Chair of Platform Trust. She joined Platform as a Trustee in 2012.

“I’m involved with Platform because I believe that when providers work together collaboratively we can end up achieving better services and outcomes for individuals and their families,” Naomi says.

“With Platform, large and small organizations can all sit equally around the table and support one another as well as innovate together.”

Naomi is currently CEO of Equip Mental Health services in Auckland and has held positions as a mental health support worker, youth worker and a presenter at the Parenting Place.

Outside of work, Naomi enjoys spending time with her three children and husband. She is Deputy Chair of the Sir Peter Black Marine Education Trust, which provides marine experiences for young people and is also a keen cyclist and movie buff.

Lynette Hutson

Lynette Hutson has over three decades of experience in the mental health sector in both New Zealand and overseas.She spent eight years as the National Director for the Salvation Army’s addictions and mental health services and has worked extensively at finding innovative ways to provide meaningful services for people.

“I am passionate about Platform because it gives me an opportunity to share with like-minded people and work towards being more effective in the work that we do. I believe it is our privilege to represent the wider mental health and addictions sector to advocate for better systems processes and policies which will allow our sector to be responsive and effective,” she says.
Lynette has four children and three grandchildren. Outside of work she enjoys spending quality time with her family, walking, reading and doing a mix of creative things.

Rob Warriner

Rob has worked in the community mental health sector since 1993. Prior to this he worked in the textile industry, and was both a builder and dairy farmer.  

"Platform represents the most potent and creative elements of the community health sector. The energy, wisdom, generosity, inspiration and experience that is around the trustee’s table is awe-inspiring and humbling,” he says.


Outside of Platform Rob is the Chief Executive of WALSH Trust, a community health organisation that provides a range of mental health support and employment services in West Auckland. Rob relaxes through reading (currently working through Christopher Hitchens' tome Arguably), playing soccer, spending time with family, and willingly being wrapped around his granddaughter's little finger.

Dr Barbara Disley

Barbara is the Group Chief Executive of Emerge Aotearoa.  Barbara has extensive leadership and management experience leading large teams within the education and health sectors. She has held a number of senior public positions including Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation. In 1996 she was the inaugural chair of the Mental Health Commission and from 2002 till 2007 Barbara was Deputy Secretary Ministry of Education where she had responsibility for the integration of the special education service into the Ministry and for the overall leadership, funding and provision of special education services for children and young people. Barbara has also been a Principal Consultant for Cognition Education Ltd leading their research and evaluation team prior.

Barbara has a doctorate in education and in 2011 was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Sally Pitts-Brown

Sally originally trained as an occupational therapist and has spent many years in leadership roles across the mental health and social services sectors in NZ and the UK. In 2014, she became the Chief Executive of Pathways, a national provider of community-based mental health and wellbeing services.

“Platform enables sector connection and collaboration and provides a collective environment for optimising the community sector.”

Sally is married with two teenage children. In her leisure time she enjoys walking, hot yoga, tennis, cooking, travel and spending time with friends and family.

Karaitiana Tickell

Tihei Mauri ora
Ko Tapuaenuku te Māunga
Ko Waiautoa te Awa
Ko Takitimu te Waka
Ko Ngai Tahu te Iwi
Ko Tahu Potiki te Tangata
Ko Karaitiana Tickell ahau

I am currently the Kaiwhakahaere/Chief Executive for Purapura Whetu Trust and have held positions previously related to direct delivery of mental health and alcohol and other drug services to whanau.

I believe in keeping people well, I think prevention is a better intervention and I think all people deserve excellent care. As a clinician and māori health equity supporter, I am positive we will be able to help more whānau in the future by promoting a pro-equity, anti-racist health system. 

Thomas Cardy

Thomas has more than 10 years’ experience in the health and disability sector in New Zealand and is currently General Manager for Pact’s mental health services in the Southern region. Thomas has widespread experience of developing, managing and implementing community based mental health support services for both youth and adult and has a keen interest in developing new and innovative models of community care for mental health and addictions.

Thomas is married and lives with his husband in Central Otago. Outside of work, Thomas enjoys horse riding, reading sailing and travelling.

Kristina Sofele

Kristina Sofele is of Tongan descent, she has over 20 years of experience in statutory social work, community development, organisation and management from her work in government & community organisations.  Currently she is National Operations Manager for Pacific NGO Vaka Tautua, working in areas of Mental Health & Addictions, Disability, Older Peoples and Financial Capability. 

Kristina is married with three children and has three beautiful grandchildren.  She is very involved in her church and Tongan community through organised sports and youth services.  

"I’m looking forward to this new role on Platform Board and working together with these wonderful people to reach to our Pacific communities."