Who we are

At Mind & Body, we believe every person can live a life they find worthwhile. We are confident about this, because every person at Mind & Body has experienced mental distress and/or addiction and recovery in their own lives. We are your peers - people who have experienced our own challenges, wellbeing journeys and recovery.


Our story

Mind & Body’s journey began in 1998, when Jim Burdett approached the Auckland District Health Board with the idea of making consumer advisory roles a professional service offered by Mind & Body.

His vision was to create a safe, effective and ethical service for people with lived experience to provide support to others, whether as peer, leader or consultant.

Together, Jim Burdett and Jane Briscoe developed a model of peer support that has played an important role in the development of New Zealand’s mental health sector, particularly in the peer and Lived Experience workforce.

In 2003, Mind & Body won the country’s first ever peer support contract. This was followed by a contract with Waitematā District Health Board in 2006 and the establishment of the Christchurch peer support service in 2007.

Mind & Body became part of the Emerge Aotearoa Group in 2015.

Today, our Mind & Body team provide community based peer-led services and support from our bases in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington and Ōtautahi/Christchurch. We meet people in the community, and through our primary support in some Auckland and Christchurch GP practices.

Our values, vision and pou

At Mind & Body, our values are central to our mahi with people who are experiencing mental distress and/or addiction. They are driven by our vision for community wellbeing and our belief in three important pillars: Māori Succeeding as Māori; Lived Experience and Diversity are Privileged; and Thriving Pacific Peoples.

Our Values

Whakawhanaunga – Connecting with purpose

Manaaki – Engaging with respect

Ako – Walking and learning together

Whakamana – Acting with integrity

These values are important in achieving the following outcomes:

Lived experience leading - People with lived experience lead and influence the governance and policy settings for mental health and wellbeing across the mental health sector and government. They also lead the design and delivery of services.

Achieving excellence - We are considered the centre of excellence for peer services through our thought leadership and our high-quality, innovative, whānau-centred peer and consultancy services. What we offer supports the growth, learning and wellbeing of the peer workforce and is delivered in culturally appropriate ways.

Full participation - The stigma and discrimination around mental distress is reduced, the privilege of lived experience is recognised and celebrated, and people are able to participate fully as citizens.

Our vision

Tautokohia te mana tangata – Realising potential

From everyone having a sense of belonging and participating in the decisions that affect them, to a reduction in the scale and impact of trauma, New Zealand is a safer and healthier society. People are increasingly supported, connected and included. They are able to thrive and our country is stronger economically and socially.

Strategic pou

Māori Succeeding As Māori
Māori succeeding as Māori

In its simplest form Professor Mason Durie describes the phrase "Māori succeeding as Māori" as “Māori being able to have access to te Ao Māori, the Māori world – access to language, culture, marae… tikanga... and resources”. Within Emerge Aotearoa we believe in the importance of Māori having sovereignty over their destination in order to achieve Tino Rangatiratanga and success as defined by Māori. This is not a destination that is determined by others: it’s a destination that Māori have authored themselves.

Lived Experience
Lived experience and diversity are privileged

There are many kinds of privilege that exist in society such as education, gender, race, age and sexual orientation. Generally, those who experience privilege are asked for their opinions, included, encouraged to participate and sought out. We privilege people’s experience of mental health, disability, discrimination, addictions, trauma and homelessness to name a few, as well as diversity. Having diverse people with diverse experiences participate actively in decision making, represented at all levels of our organisation, and sought out for their experience is central to all that we do.

Thriving Pacific Peoples
Thriving Pacific peoples

Emerge Aotearoa’s interpretation of Thriving Pacific Peoples is that our Pacific Communities will be thriving when the languages and cultures are embraced; Pacific youth are confident, resilient, and contributing to and shaping their future; and Pacific communities are healthy and prosperous. The Pacific story has shifted from one of migration to one of belonging in Aotearoa. Emerge Aotearoa supports the vision of our Pacific communities.

The Emerge Aotearoa Group

Mind & Body is an entity of Emerge Aotearoa Trust, a national charitable trust that provides a wide range of health and social services.

The Trust's mission is about strengthening whānau so that communities can thrive. We embrace diversity and are committed to empowering disadvantaged communities.

In addition to Mind & Body, the Emerge Aotearoa Group includes Emerge Aotearoa Limited, Emerge Aotearoa Housing, and Ignite Aotearoa.