Who are we?

We are a social enterprise, backed by the largest independent mental health organisation in the country. We're ready to make a difference to the well-being of our nation. Giving back to the community is vital and we can't wait to share our give-back model with you soon!

Our Values

Connecting with purpose - Whakawhanaunga

We take our responsibility for connecting people to quality support and resources seriously.   We take the time to establish trusted, genuine connections and we consider our established relationships with businesses, communities, iwi and whānau as taonga.


Engaging with respect - Manaakitanga

Everyone is welcome, our doors are open, we don't judge. We believe in building people up and strive to ensure every interaction is a positive one.


Acting with integrity - Whakamana

Our offerings are evidence based and draw on personal experience and best practice. We do what we say we will do.


Walking and learning together - Ako

We believe every experience is an opportunity to learn. We're committed to sharing our knowledge and experience. Collaboration comes first and continuous improvement matters.

Our Challenge 

One-in-five Kiwis will experience mental illness this year and 50 - 80% will experience mental distress and/or addiction challenges in their lifetime*. 

Currently the opportunities to achieve good levels of well-being are inequitable and we exist to influence and change this.


We are co-designing solutions that make it more affordable, flexible and convenient to access well-being support and resources.

48% of people in Aotearoa are employed so we are starting on our mission with supporting workplaces to support their people.

*Mental Health and Addictions Inquiry, 2018

Our Leadership Team

Nicola Coom

Highly experienced in workplace and community wellbeing, Nic has been the driving force behind Ignite, leading it passionately from inception to reality. Nic is also a Group Director within Emerge Aotearoa, founder of a cancer charity and a tech start up and finalist in the Westpac Women of Influence Awards.

Vanessa Ding

Vanessa brings a unique combination of skills to Ignite, having driven tech transformation and strategic partnerships across the public and private sectors and published research on 

stigmatisation.  Vanessa's own personal experience and passion for well-being is a driving force behind her desire to impact social change.

Gina Nonumalo

Gina’s experience spans mental health nursing, clinical assessment and education across the public, private and NGO sectors for over 20 years. She is passionate  about providing people and organisations with the resources and skills to realise their potential.

Our Board Members

Dr Barbara Disley

A distinguished leader with extensive governance and management experience in the education and health sectors, Barbara is the current Group Chief Executive of Emerge Aotearoa and former Chair of the Mental Health Commission. In 2018 she served on the panel for the Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry and advocates strongly for better community support for those in need.

John Cook

Board Member

John sits on the Ignite board and is the current Group Director, Business Services & Development of Emerge Aotearoa. A Chartered Management Accountant, he has extensive experience within the
professional services sector.

Karla Bergquist
Board Member

A Registered Nurse with a post-graduate Diploma in Health Management, Karla sits on the Ignite board and is the current Group Director of Services for Emerge Aotearoa bringing a wealth of clinical and management experience to our Board.

Cadence Kaumoana
Board Member

Cadence brings her 20 years of public and community education sector experience with specific expertise in curriculum development, strategy, leadership capability, entrepreneurship, and whānau, marae and hapū development.