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Brave Hearts NZ objective is to support and educate family and friends who are living with or directly affected by an addicted loved one. Having strong and supportive people behind the addict, form the best foundation for recovery. It’s a big job. Family and friends need support too.

Brave Hearts NZ held our first public education meeting on 28 June 2016. The response to that meeting and subsequent newspaper coverage has been overwhelming.

Brave Hearts NZ became a registered charity in December 2016.

In addition to providing support services to loved ones, we are also conducting Awareness Seminars. See our events.

As a charity, we are reliant on donations and volunteers to continue working in the community and fighting the good fight. Make a donation.


Meet Our Board
Erin 6
Erin Scarlett ONeill

Executive Director/Founder of Brave Hearts NZ

Erin is the mother of a son who has struggled with an addiction to methamphetamine. Because of her own experience, she is passionate about supporting other families in similar situations and providing educational seminars for all whanau, particularly parents of secondary school children.

Originally from Auckland, with a background in business ownership, events and marketing Erin is currently working full time on Brave Hearts in Tauranga.

Rosalind (Ros) Potter

Chairperson of Brave Hearts NZ

Rosalind Potter has been a start up member and Trustee of Brave Hearts NZ since it's inception.

Ros is the owner of a small business in Mt Maunganui and mother of two children.

Ros has had a tumultuous six years with a daughter who has struggled with methamphetamine addiction and she sought help within the community. There was a sad lack of support for the addicted’s loved ones especially considering the number of parents she knew, because of her child's friends, who were and are still living with the struggles of having an addicted loved one.

Ros is committed to helping family and whanau through the Brave Hearts support groups and in educating children and adults in awareness and support.

Lindsay (Red) Smith

Red is a foundation member and Trustee of Brave Hearts offering support, education and tactics for families of addicted loved ones.

Red has been working as a law enforcement officer in the Western Bay community for over 30 years.

He has seen the effects of drug addiction first-hand and has developed a toolbox during this time which has been useful to families in the past.

Angela Hale

Angela and her husband own their own success business which they started in Mount Maunganui back in 1996. They currently have a daughter who continues to struggle with a methamphetamine addiction.

Upon a business social event, Angela re-united with Ros (who she knew as an acquaintance many years before). Angela opened up to Ros about her daughter and they found out they both had the same "rollercoaster ride" and living with this tragic nightmare which has torn her family apart because of the meth addiction.

Angela and her husband now currently raise their grandson, which has not only taken their daughters rights away from being a mum but also their rights away of being grandparents. Angela admits she was very surprised with the number of families in our community facing some of the same challenges that meth addiction throws their way.

Angela is on the Brave Hearts board, is Brave Hearts treasurer and also attends meetings which helps her cope and understand that their family is not alone.

Michaela Kamo

Michaela works for the Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation (WBOP PHO) and has a background in radio broadcasting, business ownership, marketing and events.

Part of Michaela’s role at the WBOP PHO involves working with whānau by providing support, outreach immunisation services and by connecting whānau with other ‘Well Child’ providers.

In addition to being a Brave Hearts NZ board member, Michaela is the chairperson for Ngāi Tahu ki Tauranga Moana keeping Ngāi Tahu whānau connected who live outside of their rohe (region).

Michaela is committed to helping the community with Brave Hearts by supporting education seminars and whānau who are struggling with their loved one’s addictions.

Tommy Photo
Tommy Kapai Wilson

Tommy Kapai Wilson is a well-known children’s author, the Executive Director of Te Tuinga Whanau and a columnist with the BOP Times. He is also a past chairman of the NZ Maori Tourism Board. Tommy has a background in education and tourism.

Tommy’s proudest achievement is living a life free of drugs and alcohol for the last 12 plus years. Tommy is a Trustee of Manawa Kaha Aotearoa – Brave Hearts NZ.

Connecting community king-pins together and building bridges between Maori is one of Tommy’s focuses on the various boards he sits on including the Hospice and through his involvement with Te Tuinga Whānau and Iwi and hapū authorities, one of them being Pirirākau Incorporated, a position he has held for almost 20 years.

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Fred Buijn

Fred currently works as a Probation Officer for the Community Corrections department in Tauranga. In that role, Fred writes a lot of Pre-Sentence Reports for the Judge, often on those individuals whose crimes are driven by their addiction to methamphetamine. Fred is very aware of the carnage and heartache that an addict’s behaviour can have on family, children and friends.

Fred is fully supportive of the wonderful work Brave Hearts is doing within the community and chose to become a board member and be involved as a tangible step by offering his skills and experience to help, support, listen and encourage those individuals whose sons or daughters are struggling with addiction. Fred is also of the view that there is a need for organisations like Brave Hearts to be a voice for those parents, not only within the local community but at a national level as well.

Sheryl Conn

Sheryl works as an Assessor for the Ministry of Social Development. She approves and reviews community organisations such as refuges, counselling services, children in care, social housing etc, under a set of quality standards. The role has human resources, financial, policy reviewing and other business functions. Sheryl has many social services networks and contacts in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty/Waikato.

Sheryl has two adult sons who are in their 20’s. One son has struggled with drug addiction spanning over a 10-year period. He visited many residential rehabilitation facilities in the North Island over that period and has been in recovery for around six months.

During this sad and stressful period, Sheryl discovered there was virtually no support for families of addicted persons. Last year she found solace in the support and education given by the Brave hearts team. As a Brave Hearts board member, Sheryl hopes her skills and dealings with various addiction rehabilitation services will assist the Brave Hearts trust.

Michael Toner

Barrister and Solicitor at Toner Law

More information to follow...

Ma tini ma mano ke rapa te whai
Many hands make light work. Unity is strength.

Need to talk to someone?

Phone: 0508 BRAVEHEARTS (272 834)


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