Marihi Langford

Chief Executive

Ko Kurahaupo te Waka

Ko Pohurihanga te Tangata Rangatira

Ko Maunga Piko me Kohuroanaki nga Maunga

Ko Waitiki me Waihuahua nga Awa

Ko Parengarenga te Waahapu

Ko Te Hapua te Paa Kainga

Ko Te Reo Mihi te Marae

Ko Te Reo Powhiri te Temepara

Ko Mareitu te Urupa

Ko Ngati Kuri te Iwi


Tena koutou katoa


As chief executive I provide leadership to a dynamic team who provide services to vulnerable at-risk whanau in our community to support them with their wellbeing and to become more independent in our community.

I have worked in the social and health services sector for more than 25 years in particular the areas of mental health, addictions, social services, youth development, kaupapa Maori, and overall Maori empowerment.  

I returned home in 2011 and took on this role with Ngati Kahu. I am passionate about supporting whanau to be the best that they can be .  I love the challenges of working in a vibrant and innovative organisation, that has a great team that serve our community of te hiku o te ika. 

In my spare time I love to go fishing, spending time on the water and being with my whanau!

Elsa Whitley

Community Social Worker Lead

Ko Panguru te Maunga

Ko te Wai o Mihi Rau te Awa

Ko Ngatokimatawhaorua te Waka

Ko Ngati Manawa te Marae

Ko Ngati Manawa te Hapu

Ko Hokianga te Moana

Ko Te Rarawa te Iwi


My name is Elsa and I was born in the mid 60’s and raised in Auckland. I am one of nine sisters. I am a descendant of Te Rarawa and Ngati India. I am of a blended culture, and wonderful exotic foods. Having lived in a Suburban area where playing on the street with the neighbours children was harmless and innocent and just good ole fun. I had chores daily before I went out to play then being called in for dinner which we sat around a table to eat our meal, and golly no one was allowed to waste anything. This was how I was brought up. Our family had one TV which we sat around and watched together. There were no electronic devices such as computer’s, mobile phones, and game consoles.

As you may have figured out already my age, I have raised my children socialising with neighbours, playing games, having fun and being involved in community events. My children are all adults now and they have been my best teacher’s or perhaps I was a good student.

When my children left their nest I decided to take all the skills that I have learnt through my time as a  mother, friend, carer, listener, nurturer, financial advisor, nurse, taxi driver, cook the list goes on… to become a Social Worker and support whanau in the community. Currently I am working for Ngati Kahu Social & Health Services and have been for the past three years. It is not easy mahi, engari I love the mahi that I do and working with an amazing team.

Karen Brown

Whanau Ora Team Lead

Kia ora my name is Karen Brown. I have lived in West Auckland all my life and 6 months ago made the decision to move up to Kaitaia after talking about it for many years with my partner.  My partner joined me in the far north 3 weeks ago.  My father’s from Waimanoni so as a child we would spend xmas and school holidays up here, enjoying the beaches and outdoors. We have left in Auckland 4 adult tamariki and 7 mokopuna. I have been a registered mental health nurse for 15 years with experiences ranging from DHB Maori mental health, CADS detox team and a kaupapa Maori NGO. The decision to move up here was a strong desire to leave the “rat race” and have a better lifestyle as we head towards our golden oldie years, we both enjoy fishing and the outdoors. I am humbled to have the opportunity to work for Ngati Kahu and support our whanau in the community.

Cory James

Rangatahi Youth Lead

I was raised on my Marae with my grandparents who were actively involved in the revitalisation of Maoritanga through movements such as Te Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa, and politics. From this, I have a clear understanding and grounding in Te Ao Maori.

I have 15 years’ experience working in the health sector, majority of which was in the clinical treatment space specialising in Maori health. Ive also worked in Trauma counselling with young people who have been effected by sexual abuse and spent time working in the domestic violence space running programmes for men who were perpetrators of violence. This experience has given me a foundation to move into the multiple leadership roles I have worked in over the years. My qualifications also reflect my journey of working with Tangata Whenua with my level 7 and level 8 qualifications specialising in Maori health.

Cera James

Operations Manager

Kia Ora,

Ko Cera James toku ingoa No Te Hapua ahau, Ko Ngati Kuri te iwi.

I live just north of Kaitaia with my husband and our 3 babies. We moved home so that we could raise our children on their whenua and to give them a connection to their home that at times people take for granted.


I have been working in the Mental Health and Addictions field for the past 18 years. I was 19 when I became a Youth Alcohol and Drug Clinician for Waitemata DHB in Auckland and I can honestly say that I still love what I do.


I have been with Ngati Kahu Social and Health Services for 2 years. My role is to support the vision and mission of our organisation and ensure that we are doing what we say we are going to do and that we are providing the best opportunities for people to make change and be positive contributors to their whanau, hapu and Iwi.

Dave Lasike

Kia Ora,

Ko Dave Lasike toku ingoa. I was born in Auckland and raised on the North Shore. I am the eldest of ten children and am of Tongan descent. I have been married for just over 20 years and we have 4 boys. I completed a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Victoria, Australia, and have been involved in the well being of families in the Asia Pacific area for over 20 years.

I have a background in IT and have worked with some talented individuals that have helped shape my thinking on innovation and progress. My role involves creating solutions for our organisation through the use of technology and services. 

I love living in the far north. The abundance that we are blessed with inspires me to do more and become better.

Sheryl Maafu

Whanau Ora

Ko Kurahaupo te Waka 

Ko Pohurihanga te Tangata

Ko Waitiki te Awa

Ko Maungapiko te Maunga

Ko Te Hiku O Te Ika te Marae

Ko Te Reo Mihi te Whare nui

Ko Parengarenga te Moana

Ko Te Hapua te Haukainga

Ko Ngati Kuri te Iwi

Ko Mareitu te Urupa

Ko Sheryl Maafu oku ingoa

Kia Ora my role within Ngati Kahu Social and Health Services (NKSHS) is a Whanau Ora Worker (WOW). I support whanau of all ages within Community Mental Health (CMH) and Te Roopu Kimiora (TRK) by either assisting them to their appointments or providing positive mentoring programmes for our Youth. My care plan consists of healthy eating, exercising, ample rest and regular supervision.  I have four beautiful children and eight gorgeous grandchildren whom I love. As a whanau we enjoy our beautiful local beaches gathering kaimoana and sharing to our kaumatua and kuia that cannot go out.

Sonja Holloway

Whanau Ora

Ko Maungataniwha te Maunga
Ko Tokarau te Moana
Ko Aurere te Awa
Ko Mamaru te Waka
Ko Parata te Rangatira
Ko Kahutianui te Whaea Tupuna
Ko Ngati Tara te Hapu
Ko Ngati Kahu te Iwi
Ko Parapara te Marae
Ko Victor raua ko Caroline oku Matua
Ko Sonja Holloway toku ingoa
I am a Whanau Ora Kaimahi and I support whanau in the community with their mental health and addiction issues. I was born in Auckland and moved to our family home in the Far North when I was a teenager. I live in Kaitaia and I am blessed to be a mother of four children. In 2012 my journey to this point began when I started studying due to an interest in mental health and addictions. I completed a Certificate in Mental Health and Addictions, then a certificate in social work and this year I got my Bachelor of Applied Social Work degree. Over the years I have developed a deep passion for working with whanau going through issues in mental health and addictions, especially after they have experienced trauma. I am privileged to be able to work in my own rohe and enjoy walking alongside whanau to empower them to meet their goals. I enjoy going to the beach for a fish, going for a bushwalk to recharge and connect with the whenua, or going for a trip out of town and of course trying tasty new foods.

Stuart Mathews

Whaia Te Ora Program Facilitator

Ko Ruanui te Tangata

Ko Mamari te Waka

Ko Awaroa te Awa

Ko Rangiputa te Maunga

Ko Te Kotahitanga me Te Rarawa oku marae

Ko Ngati Haua te Hapu

Ko Te Rarawa te iwi

Ti hei wa mauri ora

Ko Stuart Mathews Toku ingoa

Ko Mane Toku Matua 

Ko Ella Toku Whaea

I was born in Auckland grew up on the north shore, Glenfield

I am the oldest of five siblings and the only son

I have been working since the age of 15 in a number of various jobs and have enjoyed all of them 


Today I am proud to say I work for Ngati Kahu Social and health services as a whanau ora worker

My role is to support Tangata Whaiora and their whanau with services within our organisation or outside the organisation, my aim is to support Tangata Whaiora spiritually physically and mentally primarily to become more independent.

No Reira 

Tena koutou

Tena koutou 

Tena tatou katoa 

Kayla Brown-Hunt

Kaimahi Rangatahi

Ko Kayla Brown-Hunt Toku Ingoa

Ko Puwheke Te Maunga

Ko Karikari Te Moana

Ko Mamaru Te Waka

Ko Wairahoraho Te Awa

Ko Haititai-Marangai Te Marae

Ko Te Whanau Moana me to Rorohuri Te Hapu

Ko Kahutianui Te Whaea Tupuna

Ko Parata Te Tangata

Ko Ngati Kahu Te Iwi

I am a Kaimahi Rangatahi working with our at risk year 9&10 tamariki within the 8 secondary schools in the Far North.

I was born and raised in Kaitaia but moved to Brisbane from the age of 10 – 22. I moved home in 2014 to study and then found full time Mahi with Ngati Kahu Social and Health Services in May 2014. I am a mum of 3 little blessings, I love the beach, being outdoors and spending time with my whanau.  I am currently on my whakapapa journey which is going awesome so far as I have found my Tupuna are from Te Rarawa and Waihou, Panguru on my father’s biological side. I feel privileged to be bringing my tamariki up in a rohe where they have very strong connections to. I love the lifestyle in the Far North so much that myself and my little whanau brought our first home in February. I enjoy watching NRL especially State of Origin!



Level 4 certificate in Mental health and addictions

Level 4 certificate in Youth Work

Diploma in Youth and Community Studies

Denise Witana

Kaimahi Kura

Tama tu Tama ora, Tama moe tama mate… Ti hei mauri ora!

Ko Puheke te Maunga

Ko Karikari te Moana

Ko Mamaru te Waka

Ko Te Parata te Tangata

Ko Kahuteanui te Tangata wahine

Ko Haititaimarangai te Marae

Ko Te Whanau Moana o Rorohuri te hapu

Ko Ngati Kahu te Iwi.



I have returned to live in Northland as this is where my father is from and where my parents had come to live in their retirement years, after spending a majority of my life in the Waikato/Maniapoto area.  My partner and I had always planned to come back to the North to live as we are both from up here, but it wasn’t until my mum got sick did I actually make the move.  After a very short illness, my beloved mother passed away in in October 2016, and I decided to, at the request of my father, to stay on up here.   


My partner has since moved back up North alongside me as well, and in March 2017, after 13 years of being together, we were married in March 2018.  In December 2017, we bought our first home together in Kaitaia, and are in the motions of renovating before we move in.


When I returned home I wanted to stay try to myself, as during my study I had applied for a scholarship and wrote about wanting to return home to assist my own people, whanau, hapu Iwi, therefore applied to work at Ngati Kahu Social and Health Services.  During my first 3 months, I realised that my own whanau were need, therefore took time off paid employment to assist my brother through some mental health and medical issues that he had been struggling with for over 30 years.  It took 4-5 months to get him to a place of where he is willing to make changes in his health and well-being, and when I decided to return to full time work in the community.


I am very pleased to have been accepted back in to Ngati Kahu Social and Health Services where I currently work under the umbrella of Whanau Ora as Kaimahi Kura (or Social Worker in Schools).  I am currently servicing 7 Schools in the Far North – Kaingaroa, Paparore, Waiharara, Pukenui, Ngataki, Te Hapua Schools and Te Kura o Te Kao.  In this position I work with tamariki aged 5-12 years old, and support, guide and encourage them through any difficulties they may be experiencing, and also working alongside their whanau.  I love working and spending time with tamariki in school and meeting and navigating whanau through any challenges should they need support.


I am happy to be home and the opportunities that have been blessed to be a part of.

Trey Henry


Sandi Macpherson

Kaimahi Kura

Ko Kurahaupo te Waka

Ko Maungataniwha te Maunga

Ko Rangiunu te Moana

Ko Awanui te Awa

Ko Waimanoni te Marae

Ko Ngaitakoto te Iwi

Ko Sandi Macpherson toku ingoa


My role is Kaimahi Kura, I am passionate about working in my own community. I enjoy working alongside children and whanau so they are able to reach their goals and wishes. I chose to work at Ngati Kahu Social and Health Services as their values fit with the values I was raised with re. Through this role I am able to guided children and whanau see their own solutions to the barriers they are facing.

Outside of work I am spending time with horses, My daughter competes in equestrian events all around northland.

Anahera Tripp

Kaimahi Kura

Ko Maria rāua ko Howard ōkū mātua

Ko Anahera Tripp ahau 


Ki te taha o tōkū māmā 

Ko ngā uri ō Ngāi Tūpoto, Ngāi Tū me Ngāti Tamatea

Nō Motukaraka ia 


Ki te taha o tōkū Papa

Nō Lami, Whītī ia


He kaimahi kura ahau mō Ngāti Kahu Social and Health Services

I’m a graduate of Poutuarongo Toiora Whānau through Te Wānanga o Raukawa.

Sasha Saies

Whanau Ora

Te Rarawa te iwi

Ngati Manawa te hapu

Panguru te maunga

Ngatokimatawhaorua te waka

Hokianga-nui-a-Kupe te moana

Ngati Manawa te marae

Ko Sasha Saies ahau

Ko kai mahi whanau ora toku mahi


I have a back ground in the finance & insurance, working in the finance sector for 13 years. In 2015 I made the decision to focus more on our community & began facilitating youth programs. At that point I found my passion, which is helping people within our community.


In January 2019 I started with Ngati Kahu and am now working towards my Level 4 Certificate in Mental Health and Addictions. I have enjoyed working within such a caring and experienced team.


Outside of mahi, I am studying towards a BA in psychology. Most of all, I enjoy spending time with my husband & tamariki, sharing some of what the far north has to offer…fishing, beaches, lakes and kai moana.

Kieta Kake

Manaaki Tangata

Ko Parihaka te maunga
Ko Hātea te awa
Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua te waka
Ko Kahukuri te tangata
Ko Te Reo o te Iwi te Wharenui
Ko Te Reo o te Ora te Wharekai 
Ko Pehiaweri te Marae
Ko Ngāti Hau te hapū
Ko Ngapuhi te iwi

Born and raised in the Heart of the Brave - Otara 274, South Auckland. Moved to Far North to get my son out of the Dirty South to strengthen our Reo Rangatira me ona Tikanga. Coming from S.A have seen, been & done a colourful, multitude of all aspects of life. My passion is working with our people at grassroots level and am privileged to work for such an amazing team - Kaupapa Driven. In particular working with Rangatahi, He Rangatira mo apopo. Ka whawhai tonu matou...

Bert Henry

Whanau Ora

I was born and raised in Auckland within a loving whanau. I grew up knowing Waimanoni/Ngaitakoto as home/heart! Now, I acknowledge Ngati Kahu; Ngati Kuri; Te Aupouri Te Rarawa, Te Paatu within me! I acknowledge mum’s whakapapa, Tainui, Ngati Tiipa te hapu. I’m fortunate enough to support; awhi; maanaki whanau in Te Hiku o Te Ika! Always learning from whanau and the strengths held from within.

I’m a Kaimahi ora! Kai tau te rangiimarie

Maakinihi Lewer


Ko Maunga Taniwha te maunga

Ko Mamaru te waka

Ko Tokerau te moana

Ko Oruru te awa

Ko Parata te rangataria

Ko Kahutianui te whaea

Ko Te Poho o Ngati Kahu te whare tupuna

Ko Kauhanga te marae

Ko Te Paatu te hapu

Ko Ngati Kahu te iwi

Tōna whakatauki, “Oruru karanga pa tahataha”

Ko Te Waiora rāua ko Ngarui āku tamahine

Ko Maakinihi Lewer tōku ingoa


I was born and raised in Kaitaia, where I attended kōhanga reo and kura kaupapa at Te Rangi Aniwaniwa. I lived in Australia for six years and made the move back to Aotearoa in 2018. Before moving back to Kaitaia I lived in Auckland where I studied a Certificate in Health Promotion and worked at a Māori youth organisation that helped support rangatahi to strive towards their dreams and unlocking their true potential. It was there I found my passion working with youth. I am very fortunate to be living back here in Kaitaia with my tamariki and working for my iwi in a role that I am passionate about. I look forward to helping our young people here in Te Tai Tokerau as they discover their way through life to knowing who they are and where they come from.

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