Kia ora, I’m Alex! I grew up in Auckland and come from a Pakeha - Iranian background. I moved to Wellington in 2016 to study and am currently completing a postgraduate degree in educational psychology which is both exciting and sometimes a bit stressful! I have become a Piki peer supporter due to my own lived experience with mental distress, in particular navigating social anxiety and struggling with self-worth. I aspire to create a supportive environment where people can explore themselves and make positive strides forwards, including myself. I am a big fan of dinosaurs, reading, creative writing and looking at pictures of animals!
Hey, I’m Edan. I am 22, I identify as NZ/European and was born and have lived permanently in New Zealand, however I have done my fair share of travelling. I have lived in Wellington for the past 5 years, and before that I lived on the Kapiti Coast for 15 years. I have recently finished university with a BSc in Biology and a postgraduate diploma in Secondary School Teaching. I joined PeerZone in October 2020 and I joined because I think that peer support is a valuable resource for people with mental distress. I would like to share my experiences with people going through the same situation. My free time is mostly taken up with playing video games and watching videos/livestreams
Hello! I am Hope, I am a kiwi, born and bred. I reign from the mighty Wairarapa and have lived here my whole life. Although we are an hour away from Wellington we are still counted as being in the Wellington region, which is my only connection to Wellington! My life journey has come with the amazing, the ugly and the soul shaping experiences. This has shaped me as a person, and I have not one bit of regret from my point of view. I have lived experience of mental distressed and when I was going through these, peer support was what I needed. So now I feel like I have dealt with my stuff, it's time to help others. I absolutely adore animals; I have 2 personal pets Bunny and Pig (can you guess what animals they are?!) And at the flat I live in; we have a wee puppy Lio (named after Lio Messi!) He is super adorable and is a Labrador crossed with Huntaway! Welcome to Piki, take is as an amazing experience and remember we are here for you 😊
My name is Jesse. I'm pākehā, of Irish, English and Danish descent. I grew up in Te Papaioea (Palmerston North) and have lived in Te Whanagnui-a-Tara (Wellington) for about eight years now. I am non-binary and transmasculine. I am also neurodivergent and live with a wonderful if sometimes chaotic ADHD brain. I love creative writing and am currently studying at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington. I love peer support because I believe that genuine, reciprocal connections with others can support us through difficult times and be a part of long-term healing. It is a privilege to get to know new peers, and I am always amazed at the strength of people and the ingenious ways we devise to survive the white supremacist, patriarchal, heteronormative systems we live within.
Kia ora, I am Lia. I grew up on the Kapiti Coast, but moved to Wellington to go to university and have been here for nearly 6 years. I studied biomedical science at Victoria University of Wellington before moving on to complete my Bachelor of Health in 2020, majoring in Population Health, Policy and Service Delivery. The projects I have been involved in and my area of study has led me to my current role at PeerZone, which is the Piki Peer Support Administrator. I run the admin side of Peer Support and make sure things run as smoothly as possible. In my spare time, I like to read, watch tv shows, movies and anime, as well as hang out with my partner and my two cats.
Kia ora, my name is Emma. I grew up in sunny Nelson and came to Wellington originally as a Fine Art’s student back in 2010. It’s been a meandering and challenging decade since then. Lots of tumbles, adventures and learning as I figure out who I am and make sense of my experiences. And I feel even more alive and sparkly for it! It is this lived experience that drew me to peer support. This mahi is a treasure in my life. I love how every peer support connection is different and can be full of openness, acceptance, laughter, ‘me too’, challenging and tender conversations, making mistakes, repairing…and much more. We both have something valuable to offer and we get to grow and learn with and from one another. I believe it so important to have these kinds of connections in our lives, especially in times of distress when we can so often feel alone, misunderstood and disconnected. I am studying towards a BSc in Psychology and Environmental Studies at Victoria University. I’m a qualified yoga teacher, a dog lover and in my spare time am keen on writing, crafting, tramping, cycling and rock climbing.
Kia ora, my name is Alice! I’ve lived here in the beautiful Wairarapa for the past 5 years and the Wellington region for 10! Before that I was born in the UK and raised in Auckland and Nelson. For 10 years I worked for the same organisation in a variety of positions which included advocacy and leadership which is what led me to my current role with Piki! I came into this role knowing the importance of sharing lived experiences in building strong connections with others. The best part of my work is connecting with people from different backgrounds and finding those random little things you have in common. As well as Peer Support, I also work on a lifestyle block, so I spend my days with animals as well as having a house full of our own pets along with two boys who are 9 and 6. Our spare time is filled with exploring, playing sport and plenty of time at the pool, beach or river over summer!
(Kāti Kurī, Kāi Tahu)
Kia Ora, I'm Vic. I grew up in sunny Kāpiti and feel blessed to be living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. I'm currently studying towards a double degree in Health Psychology and Māori Studies. I worked at a mental health NGO for a few years prior to my role at Piki. I'm a peer supporter because peer support provides a different path for working with people that I can back 100%. In my spare time I like reading and swimming, and I'm learning how to play chess.
Talofa, my name is Siobhan. I am New Zealand born with Samoan/European roots and grew up in Australia before settling in the UK. I recently returned to NZ in June this year. I see my identity as fluid and have a broad interest in spirituality. I have a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, and have a passion for film and digital art. For me peer support is a way I can try to use my personal life experiences, whether its 11 years of sobriety or overcoming big obstacles, to support others. I love the way peer support is more about empowerment, validation and mutuality; than trying to fix or put labels on people. I think we are all unique and precious in our own ways. In my spare time, I love making digital art or videos, watching films, dancing & hiking. I love being open to trying new things.
Kia ora, I am Saskia. I am a born and bred Wellingtonian and I have been a part of the Piki pilot as a Peer Supporter since it launched in July 2019. I identify with the rainbow community and feel very comfortable navigating conversations within or outside of these experiences. I love learning more about cultures and human experiences – so I enjoy working with people from diverse backgrounds. I have recently completed a Bachelor of Science followed by a Master of Science at Victoria University of Wellington. My own journey of mental distress has seen me through many ups and downs within various life challenges including culture shock, study pressures, health issues, family dynamics and struggles to find my life purpose/meaning and a sense of belonging. I feel blessed to have found mahi that allows me to walk alongside others with similar challenges and to help them find peace within their own journey. My main interests include gardening, eating, baking, science, outdoors and spirituality. I look forward to connecting with you soon!
Kia ora, my name is Carina. I have lived in Wellington for over 10 years and have been involved in a bunch of peer-led organisations over that time. I am also a trained counsellor but have been providing peer-support with Piki since the beginning of the pilot. In my spare time I love dancing and have started to perform with a group I train with.
Kia ora, my name is Hiraina. I identify as Māori and live in Wainuiomata. I'm 33 years young and a solo mum to a 17-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter. I have battled mental illness since I was young and understand how difficult it is to find someone who understands without judgement or book knowledge. I decided to become a peer supporter because of my history. When I was younger and wanted support all I could find was counsellors, when really all I wanted was for someone to talk to that could understand what I was going through and not just give advice. I also have a passion for helping people and giving back to the community. I enjoy watching movies, meeting new people, going to new places and just hanging out with friends and family.
Hello, I am Campbell, a NZ European male. I grew up in rural Southland and worked in the construction and farming sectors. I came to Wellington in 2012 to study a Degree in Creative Writing. Since achieving my Degree in Creative Writing in 2014, I have also studied business writing and business administration. I love and follow many sports, particularly cricket, rugby and martial arts. I frequent the gym 2-3 times a week and love walking all over our beautiful Wellington City. For over 20 years I have received specialist support from multiple mental health specialists. I try to incorporate all of the positive life-changing moments from my past into my role as a peer supporter.
Kia ora, I’m Maria. I became a peer supporter because someone saw something in me that I couldn’t see, and I wanted to provide that same support to others. I want to provide hope and believe in people, despite the adversity and challenges we may face, and to let people know that someone sees them, hears them, and understands what they are going through. I love peer support because I enjoy the connection with others that challenges and helps us grow. My hobbies include sport (I play at national level) for softball and rugby, spending time with friends and whanau, music, and going out and eating good food.
Hi, my name is Briony. I am of Kai Tahu and Rangitae ki Wairau descent and was raised by a Pakeha mother who was a sole parent. I attended school in college in Wellington and Kapiti, and started studying Biomedical Science at Victoria, but am currently on a break. I am a hardworking, sleeves-rolled-up, intelligent and curious individual, and I have been with Piki since October 2020. I love peer support and talking and meeting with people.
Hello, my name is Leilani. I am Tokelauan/Samoan and of European Kiwi descent and I love and thrive off helping people. I look back and wish I had something like peer support introduced to me when I was younger. I love peer support because it’s not like traditional counselling where you go to one place and talk about your problems maybe once or twice a week. I love peer support because we both get something out of it. We get to know each other as people, instead of labelling ourselves with our so called “illnesses”. In my spare time I enjoy meeting new and different types of people! I like art/painting, I enjoy reading and love longboarding. I’m a huge anime fan (aka weeb) and I love playing games, both on console and PC, mostly RPGs!
We welcome your feedback about any aspect of your experience with Piki.