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Professional Support


Associate Professor Yvonne Anderson

Yvonne founded Tamariki Pakari in 2019, in order to host the Healthy Lifestyle Check IT application being created for healthy lifestyle programmes, and further child health and wellbeing outcomes in Taranaki and beyond. She has 20 years of clinical experience, 13 as a Paediatrician, with subspecialty experience in paediatric endocrinology, diabetes, and non-judgmental approaches to healthy lifestyle change. Yvonne has over a decade of research experience and has led both clinical trials and large implementation projects. From 2022, Yvonne will be based in Perth, Western Australia, working as Associate Professor of community child health with Curtin University, Child and Adolescent Health Service and Telethon Kids Institute. Yvonne remains on the board of Tamariki Pakari, maintaining connections with the Taranaki region, and creating opportunities for collaboration with the team in Aotearoa as they arise.


Professor Cameron Grant

Cameron is a highly respected and experienced paediatrician, teacher and clinical academic, who heads the Department of Paediatrics: Child and Youth Health at the University of Auckland. He has over 200 peer-reviewed publications, many supporting emerging health researchers. Tamariki Pakari have strong links with the department, with a shared common vision of enhancing child health and wellbeing. Cameron provides support to the team as academic Head, ensuring high-quality outputs, and is the senior link with the University of Auckland.

Research Fellow, Department of Paediatrics: Child and Youth Health, University of Auckland

Dr Sarah Maessen

Dr Sarah Maessen joined the Tamariki Pakari research team in 2021 as a medical writer. After becoming acquainted with the Trust’s aims and work to date she has been promoted to take on more operational responsibilities as a Research Fellow, providing oversight and guidance for the team now that Yvonne is no longer in New Zealand. She comes with a wealth of experience, having undertaken a PhD at the University of Otago examining treatment of children’s sleep disorders in relation to their ability to learn and engage at school. She has previously worked on several projects related to child health at the Liggins Institute. Sarah is originally from Taranaki, and is delighted to maintain the connection with Tamariki Pakari.

Software Developer, Department of Paediatrics: Child and Youth Health, University of Auckland

Mr Gregory Lynne

Greg has been supporting IT projects with Yvonne since 2011. He is currently employed on project funding to build and implement the healthy lifestyle IT application. He liaises with industry (currently Efinity Digital and Taranaki DHB IT department) and supports other IT aspects for the Trust. Greg currently works with the Department of Paediatrics 2 days per week on the healthy lifestyle check application.

Senior Research Programme Coordinator, Department of Paediatrics: Child and Youth Health and Wellbeing, University of Auckland

Ms Alex Tench

Alex joined the Tamariki Pakari team in 2022, coming to the role with a background of clinical and community dietetics; including a year as the dietitian for the Whānau Pakari team. Alex grew up in rural Taranaki, moved away for university, travel and work, but is now once more Taranaki-based with her young family. Alex is supporting the Tamariki Pakari Board with community and stakeholder engagement; academic background and ongoing projects. Alex works with Tamariki Pakari through the Department of Paediatrics two days per week. 

Dr Janine Wright

Janine has recently joined the team as a part-time data analyst in 2022 alongside her commitments as a secondary school teacher.  Janine has a diverse academic background across statistics and public health, most recently working with a multi-disciplinary team in the Eastern Bay of Plenty investigating the effect of community-based approaches on reducing the impact of rheumatic fever in school-aged rangitahi. Originally from the Taieri Plain near Ōtepoti Dunedin, Janine now lives with her husband and two daughters in Taranaki.

Mr Ken Taiapa

Ken provides project support and facilitation support.

Ms Tami Cave

Tami completed her Masters of Health Sciences with the team in 2020, and was the Kai Rangahau Tautoko for the research programme for 7 years. Tami provides advisory services, all on an as-required basis.

Ms Ngauru Rawiri

Ngauru provides project support and facilitation support.

Girdlers' Research Fellow, University of Oxford, UK

Dr Cervantée Wild

Cervantée was involved in research and supporting health research workforce development for 7 years in Taranaki prior to her move to Oxford in 2021. Having completed her PhD in Taranaki, Cervantée is undertaking a two-year postdoctoral fellowship expanding her skills in qualitative research and prioritising participant voice in the healthcare system. Cervantée is due to return in 2024. She continues to support student projects and support workforce development for the Trust.