Our People

Sue Paton

Sue Paton

Sue started as dapaanz Executive Director July 2015 and was on the Executive for two years before this. She has a long history working in addictions as a practitioner, youth counsellor, manager and advisor.

Sue came to dapaanz from the Health Promotion Agency where she was Principal Advisor Addictions.

Position Executive Director

Clare Gibson

Clare Gibson

Clare was born and bred in Wellington. She is the mother of two teenage daughters and regularly hosts international students.

Clare is new to the addiction sector and is loving it!

Position Office Manager

Naomi Lester

Naomi Lester

Naomi is from the mighty Waikato and has lived in Wellington for the last 7 years. Naomi has a marketing background and is loving being part of a sector which promotes recovery and restoration through compassionate, holistic practice.  

Position Marketing and Communications Manager

executive board heading

executive board

Claire Aitken

Claire Aitken

Claire is Programme Director and Director of Moana House and Moana House Training Institute. She has been in the addiction treatment field for many years and is passionate about working with individuals and their whānau who are experiencing issues with addiction and offending.

Claire is a Registered Practitioner and Accredited Supervisor.

Position Chair

Ben Birks Ang

Ben Birks Ang

Ben is National Youth Services Advisor for Odyssey, Auckland and the New Zealand Drug Foundation. He has a passion for empowering communities and supporting rangatahi to build on their resiliency and expand their views of who they can become. Ben is a Registered Practitioner and Accredited Supervisor.

Anna Nelson

Anna Nelson

Anna is a Programme Lead with Matua Raki. Anna began her career in addictions in 1996 and is passionate about addiction workforce development and improving outcomes for children affected by parental addiction. She is a Standard Member.

Norman Vaele

Norman Vaele

Norman is a Mental Health/AOD Clinician with St John of God Waipuna Trust. He is a first generation New Zealand Samoan endorsed by the DRUA committee to represent Pacific knowledge and networks on the executive. Norman is a Standard Member.

Debby Sutton

Debby Sutton

Debby is Programme Manager,  Odyssey (Auckland), with a main focus on coordinating the Counties Manukau AOD Provider Collaborative. She has worked in the addiction treatment sector for 20 years in a variety of roles. Debby is a Standard Member.

Selina Elkington

Selina Elkington

Selina is Clinical Coordinator at He Waka Tapu, Christchurch. She has been an addiction practitioner for 11 years and is a Registered Practitioner and Accredited Supervisor.

Brent (Tohi) Tohiariki

Brent (Tohi) Tohiariki

Tohi is Assistant Director Clinical Oversight with the Salvation Army Addiction Services, Bridge, Christchurch. He has worked in the field of addiction and mental health for 15 years in a variety of roles. Tohi is a Standard Member and Accredited Supervisor.

Layla Lyndon-Tonga

Layla Lyndon-Tonga

Layla is General Manager - Problem Gambling National Co-ordination with Hapai Te Hauora. She has a long experience working in gambling, addictions, health, public health and Māori health. Layla is a Standard Member.

Takurua Tawera

Takurua Tawera

Takurua is Pou Whakahaere at Moana House in Dunedin and Pouwhakarae for the dapaanz Executive. Takurua is a Registered Practitioner.