Krista Dixon, Executive Director

Krista is the founder of Live for More, but on a day-to-day basis she is now a mum as well as the Executive Director part-time. She is passionate about seeing Live for More thrive and grow as an organisation. Krista was previously the Youth Clinician at Live for More for six years and thoroughly enjoyed doing the 1-1 clinical work with the young men, supporting them to become the best versions of themselves. Krista has been surfing since she was 14 years old and is a passionate surfer. She loves and believes in the power of surf therapy as she has seen so many lives transformed and saved over the years. She also sees the benefits of rangatahi building healthy relationships and rapport outside of the four walls of an office. She is passionate about seeing people find freedom in life. Krista has a degree in Psychology from UCSB and a post-graduate certificate in Drug and Alcohol Studies from the Auckland University. She has been a registered DAPAANZ Drug and Alcohol Clinician since 2010. Krista has previously worked at a residential youth rehab, as well as a drug and alcohol counsellor. She is a founding member of Surf Therapy Aotearoa, which was established in 2021. Krista lives in Arataki with her husband Jared and their daughter Praise.

Toni-Lee Hawira, Financial Manager
He uri nō Tauranga Moana, Ruapehu Maunga hoki. Ko Ngāti Pukenga me Te Atihaunui-a-Paparangi nga Iwi.

Toni-Lee is born and bred Tauranga Moana and has been involved with Live For More since the beginning, supporting in various roles, including on the Board as a Trustee. As a Chartered Accountant, she has worked in various accounting roles for nearly 10 years. Over her career she has been recognised for her natural leadership, analytical eye and hard-working attitude. She has seen some of the many incredible transformations and amazing work that Live For More has done over the years and is passionate about supporting and being a part of the continuation of that journey into the future, working specifically in her trained space.

Toni-Lee, her husband Manny and their daughter Te Tai Marino live in Arataki. Outside of work, she enjoys climbing Mauao for karakia and having whānau over for kai.
Jason Robertson, Clinical Lead

Ko Maungarahi me Puketoi nga maunga
Ko Wairarapa te moana
Ko Ruamahanga me Owahanga nga awa
Ko Kurahaupo te waka
Ko Whatonga te rangatira o runga
Ko Rangitāne tōku iwi
Ko Hinetearorangi me Te Hika o Pāpāuma ōku hapū
Ko Hurunui-o-rangi me Pāpāuma ōku marae
Ko Anaru tōku whānau

Otira, ka whakapapa ahau ki Kōtirana me Ingarihi
Ko Jason Robertson tōku ingoa.

Jason was born in Oamaru, grew up in Waverley, went to boarding school at Palmerston North Boys High School, and worked in Whanganui for 10 years before moving to Tauranga Moana. He has lived in Tauranga for 25+ years and loves it here. Jason has an engineering (fitter and turner) and farming background and experience in a variety of other areas. He has been working with young people for over 25 years both in community services and church contexts. He has a degree in counselling, post grad cert. in Addictions/Health Science, diploma in Suicide Intervention and Prevention. He is an Accredited DAPAANZ Supervisor and Registered DAPAANZ Practitioner. Before joining Live for More, Jason has worked in Kaupapa Māori Mental Health and Addictions with rangatahi for 8 years and then provided supervision and education to mental health and addictions kaimahi for almost 3 years.

Jason is married and has 4 children (22, 19, 16 & 13) and has a strong relationship with God.

When he’s not at work, Jason likes to keep fit and healthy; he enjoys watching movies, sleeping, and hanging out with friends and whanau. More recently Jason has started to enjoy hunting for pig and deer and is a bit of a “car guy”.

One of his main passions is helping people work through issues that are stopping them enjoying life and fulfilling their potential.

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.

Megan Warn, Operations Manager

Megan joined the Live for More team after spending over six years as a leader in the retail sector. In the past few years, Megan has developed a huge passion for advocating the importance of mental health and wellbeing. This passion saw her spearhead several wellbeing projects in her previous retail-based roles and has ultimately drawn her away from retail and into to working at Live for More. She is a very detail-oriented person and is fuelled by a passion to see continuous improvement in herself and those around her.

When she’s not at work, Megan can be found spending time with her partner Shannon, enjoying some good kai, and playing guitar in her church band. Megan was born in Hamilton but has called the Bay of Plenty home for most of her life. She lives in Te Puke and thinks it’s the best town on earth.

Jared Dixon, Youth Navigator

Ko Mauao te maunga
Ko Tauranga te moana
Ko Takitimu te waka
Ko Ngāti Ranginui te iwi
Ko Ngai te Ahi te hapu
Ko Hairini te marae
Ko Jared Whakatana Dixon toku ingoa

Jared is the youth mentor at Live for More Charitable Trust. He is of Māori decent, born in Tauranga and raised in Otahuhu, South Auckland. He is the second eldest sibling in his family, with one older sister and four younger brothers. Jared went through the Tai Wātea surf therapy programme at Live for More in 2018 and has completely turned his life around since. Before joining the programme at Live for More, Jared spent six years in prison and was heavily caught up in crime, drugs and gangs. Jared now has a big heart for helping the young men at Live for More who have been brought up in the same lifestyle as he was. He now loves surfing and helping others break away from the negative lifestyle he once knew, using his own life experiences and past to motivate others, showing them that change IS possible. He works alongside Tai Wātea participants and supports them to work towards their goals. Jared loves all sorts of sports, physical education, being active and keeping fit. Jared lives in Arataki, Mount Maunganui with his wife Krista and daughter Praise.

Michelle Neilson, Youth Clinician

Michelle is the Youth Clinician at Life for More working with the Tai Ora and Tai Wātea programmes carrying out group therapy and clinical 1-1 sessions. Born and raised in Tauranga Moana, Michelle has a passion for helping our rangatahi see their true worth and realise their potential to live fulfilling lives.  She believes that being able to support people on their journey towards wellbeing is a true blessing, and is constantly blown away at the strength of the mind in creating our realities.

Michelle loves being immersed in nature, our awa and moana, and is a strong believer in the healing power of the natural elements.  She has been a SCUBA Instructor at the Great Barrier Reef, holds a Diploma in Marine Studies and is a certified Project Jonah Marine Mammal Medic.  Surfing is a relatively new endeavour for Michelle, and she is enjoying the challenge of developing a new skill in the water.

She recently completed her Bachelors in Counselling at Bethlehem Tertiary Institute, studying part-time whilst working at the Tauranga Cancer Centre.

Michelle lives in Tauranga with her husband, two sons, and numerous furry family members.

Sione Vaka, Youth Navigator

Malo e lelei

Sione Vaka was born in a small island of Tonga. The last few years he has spent time working in logistics, warehousing and storage. He has been in Tauranga Moana for 6 years and loves it here.

Sione has a huge passion for brotherhood. He loves catching up and hearing other people stories – the high and lows, and he loves encouraging the brothers. He joined Live For More because he has the heart, passion and the capacity to support the brothers. He always has a positive attitude and is a hugely respectful and kind person.

Sione has an awesome whanau. Him and his wife Mereana have 4 children and they live in Pāpāmoa. In his spare time, he love to climb up Mauao for prayer and watching the sunrise. He also loves fitness and seeing others make changes to better themselves.

Georgia Ballentyne, Office Administrator

Over the past few years Georgia has been involved in youth mentorship and youth leadership through Christian Surfers. She loves seeing rangatahi be inspired to live life to the full. People and the ocean are her passion and inspire her in all she does.

She moved to Tauranga from Porirua two and half years ago for the sunshine and waves and has loved it ever since.

Georgia is engaged to Jack who she loves to adventure with. Anytime she is not at work she is with friends, family or on an adventure.

Whana Barton, Youth Mentor

Whana was born and raised Te Puke. He is of Maori descent, from the Tapuika and Waitaha tribes, and had a difficult upbringing.

He was involved in drugs, gangs, and crime from a young age and spent multiple times in prison. However, he has since turned his life around, gaining valuable knowledge and experience on how to deal with the challenges of a traumatic background, and has a passion to help others, especially young people, do the same.

He is friendly, outgoing, and values physical and mental fitness. He has a background in engineering and worked in the ports for many years, and is very hands-on. Whana is the youngest of seven siblings and has two daughters.

Nowadays Whana really enjoys his church and activities related to his church. He is an active leader in Te Kainga Youth, which is a group for the youth at church. He has a passion to see them build good solid morals and to give them guidance and tools for life that will help and encourage them to make good choices so that will succeed and thrive.