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Get to know Our Team, Our Herd and Board Members.

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Lead Kaiako 

Ko Aoraki te maunga te rū nei taku ngākau.
Ko Arahura te awa e mahea nei aku māharahara.
Nō  Tāmaki Makaurau me Rīwhitana āhau.
Ko Airihi me Kōtimana me Ingarihi ōku iwi.
E mihi ana ki ngā tohu nehe, o Taranaki e noho nei au.
Ko Laura Menzies taku ingoa.


Kia ora, I'm Laura the Lead Kaiako. My passion in life is supporting rangatahi to realise just how amazing they are.  I love seeing their self worth and confidence soar as they build a partnership with their hōiho and fine tune their leadership skills. Listening to rangatahi share how they are applying the HHH breathing and body language tools in their everyday lives blows my mind.  I feel so proud of the way our magical herd of hōiho help and empower these incredible rangatahi and I'm forever grateful to our amazing team of kaiako, our board of trustees and the Taranaki community for supporting us. 



Lead Assistant Kaiako

Kia ora koutou,

Ko Mauao te maunga

Ko Tauranga te moana

Ko Mataatua te waka

Ko Ngāi te Rangi te iwi

Ko Brett ahau

Hi everyone, I’m Brett. I grew up in Taranaki, spent a few years in Ōtepoti studying and then went travelling. I started with HHH a few years ago and loved it. In my free time I’ll be out hiking in the mountains, hanging out at the beach or doing something creative. I have been around horses most of my life and have experienced the learnings and growth they can bring first hand. I have a background in psychology and find working with rangatahi super rewarding. I love seeing them really come into their own during the programme, gaining confidence and learning skills to help them in life.

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Nic aka Sifter

Assistant Kaiako

Hey I'm Nic 'Sifter' Jenkins and I like this picture because it shows my Yogi beaming through. I'm a collector of records and love music. I am of mostly mix of European Welsh but do have Māori ancestors. I'm 5th generation Kiwi. People will describe me as reserved, humble, honest. I like HHH because I can teach young people calming techniques. 

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Assistant Kaiako

Ko Louise ahau, my name is Louise but you can call me Lou.  I was born in the south island in a small rural town called Southbridge, on the east coast  between Taumutu on the banks of Lake Waihora and the mouth of the Raikaia River. It was an outdoor lifestyle where community was king and I grew up with my mates free ranging over surrounding farms, the lake and the river where  everyone's home was open to everyone else! I moved to Taranaki for work in my mid twenties. I fell in love with the land, the mountain, the forest, rivers and sea and never left. My two, now adult, kids were born and raised here. I have always loved horses and found being with them and in nature healing! I started with HHH in early 2022 - I love working with the horses and the community and being outdoors - all the things I loved as a kid!! I find the HHH program and being with the horses healing (and fun!) I hope you will too. Ka kite ano.

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Assistant Kaiako

Kia ora, My name is Austin or Austy. I grew up in the Hawkes Bay before studying in Dunedin, and then travelling for a few years. In 2020 I came to Taranaki to stay with a friend for the first covid lockdown and have lived here ever since! I love the wildness of the west coast and spend a lot of my time exploring the Taranaki coastline in search of waves to surf. Outside of that I can be found gardening and spending time in the ngahere. My favourite pony/horse is Macey because she’s so cuddly :) I love working at HHH and the connections it forms - both with the horses and with people.



Assistant Kaiako

My Name is Tayla! I am born and raised in Taranaki! When I’m not at HHH I am vet nursing! When I am not working I love being outdoors with my dog or hanging out with friends!  I have always loved animals and especially horses from a young age. I love being apart of HHH, seeing the way every person builds a relationship with each of the horses is very special.

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Assistant Kaiako

I have lived in Taranaki my whole life, I grew up on a dairy farm and from a young age I’ve had a passion for horses. From doing the HHH course to working at HHH I have gained alot of confidence especially in myself  (My favorite horse to work with is Macey)

Our Herd

Macey, Horses Helping Humans Taranaki, Youth, Therapy


Macey is our celebrity who featured on TVNZ Breakfast!  She is a Kaimanawa and grew up in the wild until she was mustered as a two year old. She is responsive to even the most subtle body language cues, so her handlers have to be very clear when communicating with her so that she doesn’t get confused.  Macey is dominant in the herd and is like a mother hen to the miniature ponies, keeping them safe and making sure no one plays up.  She’s has a calming presence and loves cuddles and scratches, especially on her bum!  She’s also been known to have a roll in the arena when she’s feeling really safe.  Macey is a confident Larry personality.

Basil, Horses Helping Humans Taranaki, Youth, Therapy


Our Yogi pony Basil is world famous in Taranaki, he may be small but in his mind he is HUGE. Basil loves socialising with humans and horses, he loves being centre of attention and he is very cheeky with a great sense of humour.  You can’t force Basil to do anything he doesn’t want to do, his handlers have to make tasks varied and fun so to keep him motivated.  He LOVES to jump and is great at motivating the other ponies to play with him in the paddock. Basil teaches his handlers the super power of energy control.

Lily, Horses Helping Humans Taranaki, Youth, Therapy


Lily is a very intuitive, wise, spiritual soul.  She is our Mindy.  She has had a rough life, so she is extremely empathetic towards others experiences and sensitive towards their energy.  Lily teaches her handler how to communicate in a very gentle and calm manner whilst still being able to maintain boundaries.  She has a beautiful heart and has been describe by our kaiako as the “most healing” of the herd.  She is one in a million, but watch out her cheekily sneaking away to find the bag of carrots!  Lily is kindly on loan to us by the amazing Nadine.

Reggie, Horses Helping Humans Taranaki, Youth, Therapy


Reggie loves cuddles and is usually the first one to come and say hi in the paddock (or come into the house!)  He is very affectionate and incredibly stubborn if there is grass around that he wants to eat!  Reggie’s antics strengthen his handlers patience and their ability setting boundaries with others.  He’s a bundle of fun who thrives under clear direction and consistent boundaries.  Once his handler establishes these with him, then he’s very willing to please.  Reggie loves playing with the equine ball (as long as it’s rolling away from him!), swimming and hanging at the beach. He's a Mindy/Yogi personality. Rumour has it that he and Lily are having a secret love affair but don't tell Basil!

Lola, Horses Helping Humans Taranaki, Youth, Therapy


Lola is sensitive, empathetic, but very sassy, she certainly keeps Basil and Reggie in line!  She is very intelligent and likes tasks to be fun and mentally stimulating.  She is also very expressive if she disagrees with you.  Lola teaches her handler how to communicate in with a calm but assertive energy. She is a Sunny/Yogi personality. She is a fun loving soul who is on loan to us by the incredible Nichole. 

Creed, Horses Helping Humans Taranaki, Youth, Therapy


Creed is such a character, he’s loves affection, getting his gums rubbed and being the centre of attention. He has a great sense of humour eg picking Brandie’s feed bucket up and trying to carry it away from her while her head is still in it eating, or pulling out my pig tail fencing around the paddock.  Creed will always bring a smile to your face with his antics.  He is extremely bossy towards the other horses but so gentle around small children.  Creed is a Sunny/Yogi cross and he teaches his handler how to stand in their mana and be the leader.  In his past life, Creed raced as a pacer and was trained by Diamond Racing Stables, he then went to Stable to Stirrup to adjust to life after racing and we are so grateful to them for gifting him to us.



Rum is gentle, affectionate and he loves giving people kisses! Don’t be fooled by his small size, he is very intelligent and can be strong willed when there is grass around! He also knows how to wind up Reggie and Basil when he wants to have some fun.  He enjoys having quiet hangouts with Lily (who he absolutely adores!) and also racing around the track playing with Basil and Reggie.  Rum teaches his handler the super power of remaining in strong, calm, assertive stance, especially when walking past the grass! Rum is on loan to us from the lovely Lynnere.

Our Board Members


Bridget Burke


Bridget is a director of Connect Legal New Plymouth, specialising in Family Law. Her work involves her in a wide cross section of the community, particularly as a children’s advocate which is a role she feels passionately about. Children and young people, often in the more marginalised sectors of our community, have been a big focus of her practice for the past 28 years.  Bridget has previously sat on the national executive of the Family Law Section, the Family Abuse Intervention Team Trust, the New Plymouth Emergency Shelter Board and the Taranaki Foundation Board (formerly Te Karaka Community Foundation). For six years Bridget sat on the Board of Trustees for Francis Douglas College as its Deputy Chair for three of those years. Bridget has been a keen sportswoman and has coached college basketball for 5 years and is currently the chairperson of the disciplinary committee for the New Plymouth Basketball Association.  Bridget was fortunate enough to participate in Sue Spence’s Horses Helping Humans programme on a visit to Gwinganna Retreat in Australia in 2016; an experience that was both memorable and inspiring!

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Scott Ireland


Scott is a director/owner of local accounting firm Schurr & Ireland CA Ltd. Scott formed the company in 2015, after previously working in banking for three years with ANZ bank and 7 years with Baker Tilly Staples Rodway before that. He loves his business and is proud of the near 40 staff and 3

director firm it has become. Scott has a passion for the local Taranaki community and has had

several roles in clubs and not for profits over the years. This particular charity resonates with Scott

and he in particular loves the outcomes the programme has been able to achieve for at risk Taranaki



Christine Egarr


Christine is an Investment Adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. She has over 15 years experience in New Zealand investment markets. Christine is originally from Taranaki and grew up around horses in multiple disciplines. She was a show jumping rider at a national level, and took a break from her corporate career in her twenties to work with sport horses overseas, including for New Zealand Olympian Bruce Goodin in Sweden. She has two daughters now experiencing the joy of horses and has watched and guided many young people make positive change through their experience and interactions with horses.

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Christine Goodin


I am Christine Goodin, retired, married to Steak Goodin QSM for 52 years and have 6 adult children.  All with partners and there are 13 grandchildren, so we are surrounded by whānau who are somewhat worldly and keep us informed.  Steak and I were Oranga Tamariki caregivers for over 40 years and have had much experience with troubled young people as well.  Steak was a founding member of S.T.A.R.T Taranaki.   We had those clients live with us and work on our dairy farm for many years.  In 1997 we helped bring Life Education Trust to Taranaki and have since helped raise $200,000 annually for the charity.  I have much experience in fundraising and I am currently a National Board Member with a NZ Life Membership for Life Education NZ.  It has been most rewarding Helping Horses Helping Humans Taranaki, Hōiho Hāpai Hapori, come to fruition and seeing the outcomes this programme is achieving for the participants.

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David MacKenzie


My name is David Ian MacKenzie.  I am employed by the New Zealand Police Department as a Police Sergeant and have been a Police Officer for 37 years.  I am married to Anita, a local physiotherapist and have three adult daughters.  My current position is that of a Senior Prosecutor working principally out of the New Plymouth District court.  In my policing career I have held various positions in both the CIB, General Duties and administrative areas.  Due to this experience, I have seen the devastating, lifelong effects that those born into a life of disadvantage can experience.  As such, I was attracted to a programme such as HHH where the participants can be offered a positive learning experience, where the skills learned will improve the wellbeing of vulnerable young people.  


Gemma Chambers


Hi I’m Gemma, I have been working with young people in educational settings for the past 20 years becoming a specialist in inclusive education and nature school.  I am so excited that I can combine a passion for well being and a love of horses and joined HHH. After a fall took my confidence from riding I’m  loving reconnecting with the horses and the amazing staff and thrilled to be able to offer support, laughter and love to the beautiful people we work with.

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Janet Lean


Kia ora, my name is Janet Wrightson Lean. It is my privilege to be part of the HHH whānau in Taranaki and support the incredible mahi of the facilitators and trustees. I have been involved with community organisations, in a variety of voluntary roles all of my adult life and I don't see that changing any time soon! My 'paid' work has been in the International Department at Spotswood College for eighteen amazing years ... I am fortunate to be able to say that it never really felt like a job! More recently I have moved into an administration role in Te Waka Manaaki, the High & Complex Needs area of the school and cut back to three days a week.... to hopefully spend more time with our four adult children, their partners, seven grandchildren and their dogs that make up our whānau. Happy days!


Judge Lynne Harrison


I am a District Court Judge, residing in New Plymouth. I am found mostly in the Family Court, but I also preside in the Youth Court and the Criminal Court.  After 23 years practising family law, I was appointed to the Bench.  What has grabbed my attention is the high rate of our young offenders who have underlying neuro-disabilities. Conditions such as FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), ADHD, brain injury through trauma and the like.  Around 2016, I went to Gwinganna, a Wellness Retreat on the Gold Coast. I participated in a group session that involved a horse and Sue Spence, the founder of Horses Helping Humans. It was a very simple technique to demonstrate communication skills. Sue mentioned that she offered her programme to the Youth Justice sector in Queensland. I decided we needed her programme in Taranaki. Bridget Burke, a lawyer and now Chairperson of Horses Helping Taranaki Youth, had by chance, attended Gwinganna and Sue’s session. That was all I needed to start exploring the possibility of bringing the programme to Taranaki.  My goal is to provide a meaningful programme for our youth justice participants and ultimately for all Taranaki youth who present with difficult and challenging behaviours.

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