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.

Junior Tuiti, Clinical Manager
Junior is Samoan, Cook Island and was born and raised in Ōtara, South Auckland. This is where he started his journey of working with young people. His passion for working with young people and serving communities now brings him to Live for More.
Junior has 18 years experience working with young people and their families as a youth worker, mentor, teacher aide and currently as a social worker. Junior has worked in both community and government organisations. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Social work (BASW) and is registered with the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB).
Junior is married with two children and together they call Tauranga home. His time outside of work is spent with them, where he enjoys taking his children out and spending time at the beach. In his spare time he also enjoys playing and watching as many sports as possible.
Megan Leigh, 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 husband, Shannon (and her super cute dog), going for hikes, and playing guitar at her local church. 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.

Sophie Urbanc, Office Manager

Ko Mauao te maunga
Ko Tauranga te moana
Ko Takitimu, ko Mataatua ngā waka
Ko Ngāti Ranginui, ko Ngaiterangi ngā iwi
Ko Pirirakau te hapu
Ko Paparoa te marae
Ko Sophie Rangitaia Urbanc ahau

Tīhei Mauri Ora

Sophie has grown up in Te Puna immersed in Te Ao Māori from Kōhanga Reo through to high school. After spending some years abroad in Australia and Canada, and time in Auckland, she returned home in 2020 to re-connect with her whānau, whenua and culture.

Sophie is a dedicated professional with a
background in office/finance administration and is currently doing a course in
Kai Oranga. She is passionate about the mental well-being of rangatahi and
seeing them succeed in life, which is what drew her to Live for More.

Outside of work, she loves being out in the taiao, spending quality time with whānau and friends, and walking her little fur baby, Nugget.

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 whānau. 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.

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.

Aimee Halstead, Youth Clinician

Aimee is a Youth Clinician at Live for More working with the Tai Whakaora programme. Aimee is passionate about supporting young people to become the best versions of themselves, empowering positive change and helping them recognize their potential.

Aimee started her social work journey with the Department of Corrections as a Probation Officer, following on then as a Social Worker in Schools. She has a Bachelor of Social Work and is registered with the Social Workers Registration Board.

Aimee is half Kiwi and half German. She was born and raised in Waitakere, Auckland, however, now calls Mount Maunganui home.

Outside of work you can find Aimee and her partner at the beach, swimming, surfing, wakeboarding, diving, or anything else to do with our beautiful Moana. Aimee is so excited to share the stoke with our whanau here at Live for More.