WELLfed cooking programme classes are run by a team of local Tutors, 90% of whom are Graduates of the WELLfed programme who are now supporting others to learn.
Assistant Tutor Manager
Merica is the Assistant tutor manager at WELLfed, and team leader of the Youth Programme. She started as a learner at WELLfed, and was then a volunteer before becoming a staff member. She is a mum of three children, and has Whāngai many children. Before her time at WELLfed Merica attended He Huarahi - School for teenage parents.
She is an active volunteer in the community, and in 2023 won a Porirua City Council Award for services to the community. She is part of the Mana Wāhine programme and is a key connector within the Porirua community.4
Merica loves connecting people with their roots and believes that food is a connector in life. Merica was raised in Porirua, and is part of a large family. Merica’s iwi affiliations are Ngā Puhi, Te Rarawa, Ngati Ruanui Ngaruahinerangi and Wanganui.
Donna is a tutor at WELLfed. She has been involved with WELLfed for four years, having
started as a learner, and then a volunteer, before becoming a member of staff. She is a health
research assistant, as part of an evaluation project through Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington. Her passion is her family. She has two children and has Whāngai many children, she is also raising her mokopuna. She volunteers at the boxing academy and at the marae, supporting young people and the wider community. She is part of the Mana Wāhine programme, and is keen on fitness and taking on new challenges. Donna was born in Wellington, and raised in Gisborne. Her iwi are Ngāti Porou and Tūhoe.
Crystal is a tutor at WELLfed, having started her WELLfed journey as a learner. She has a
daughter, and is an active member of her wider family. She plays Softball for the Porirua
Workingman’s Club. She comes from a long line of wāhine toa, who have instilled in her a
passion for kai and awhi. She was born and raised in Porirua, and attended Turakina Māori
Girls’ College. Her iwi connections are Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Ngāti Kahungungu ki Wairoa.
Lofi is a tutor at WELLfed, having started her WELLfed journey as a learner in 2022. She
is a mum of three children, and works hard in her family and community. She’s an advocate for
people. She’s a member of the Mana Wāhine programme, and believes in making positive
change in people’s lives. She was born in Samoa, and came to Porirua when she was 9 years old.
Christina, known by Tina, is married with 2 kids. She was born and raised in Wellington.
She describes herself as a “fruit salad”, being Tongan, Scottish and Irish. She is a Tutor, and a
proud member of the team at WELLfed Porirua. Through WELLfed Tina achieved and
completed her full licence, and achieved certificates in mini first aid, parenting and Food Safety.
Outside of WELLfed she is Vice President for Malia Tupou Arts & Culture Inc, and an active
Member of Makatu'unga he ofa Tongan Community.
Maggie was born and raised in the small town of Manakau between Ōtaki and Levin. She
is the Mum of 4 children and a qualified hairdresser. She attended WELLfed as a learner in
2020 then became a volunteer tutor before joining the staff as a Tutor. Maggie is of Māori decent with connections to Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Wehiwehi. Through WELLfed, Maggie gained her restricted and full licences after 15 years on learners. She also achieved a certificate in Food safety certificate, and completed the train the trainer course.