• Johnsonville, Wellington
  • 04 461 6318
  • office@pada.nz

About Us

Our Mission

To eliminate the stigma around perinatal mental health in New Zealand by championing awareness and facilitating best practice in perinatal mental health and wellbeing to ensure all families have access to appropriate information and support.

PADA was formerly the Perinatal Mental Health New Zealand Trust (PMHNZ)

There was no national umbrella organisation for perinatal mental health in New Zealand. A brainstorming day was held in Wellington in June 2009. This was attended by 30 representatives from a range of agencies and organisations connected with perinatal distress issues from around New Zealand. They identified interests in, aims and objectives for a national networking group for Perinatal Distress. A “working group” was conceived and the Perinatal Mental Health New Zealand Trust was born on 3rd February 2011. The organisation grew rapidly and in 2015 it was decided that a more memorable name was needed but one that still reflected our aims. After much thought, argument and finally consensus, the Perinatal Mental Health New Zealand Trust was reborn as PADA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Aotearoa).

Our Vision

To eliminate the stigma around perinatal mental health in New Zealand. 

Our Team

Treena Cooper 
Operations Manager

I am the Operations Manager for PADA. Having worked for 12 years as a corporate travel consultant, I bring to the Trust valuable organisational and people skills.

I am the organiser of the Seminar Series and looking forward to sharing with you the schedule for 2018. I have two boys aged 11 and 12 so spend lots of time involved in school, sport and scouting activities and I also enjoy decorating cakes.

Melanie Byrne
Website, Social Media & Database Manager

A mum to two girls aged 9 and 12, I feel fortunate to be in a role that allows me to give back to others experiencing perinatal distress.  I’m thrilled to combine previous roles at Plunket, Geneva Healthcare, and Mediaworks, to work in a team motivated to make a difference.

Perinatal distress affects the whole whanau and wider community, and PADA is embracing the power of social media to connect, and equip Health care providers, to improve outcomes for those affected throughout New Zealand.

Gillian Ransom
Fundraising Manager

As a mum of two young boys I recognize that becoming a parent is the biggest life changing event a person can ever go through. I’m privileged to work in a job that allows me the ability to make a positive difference to families and whanau affected by mental illness related to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood. I’ve worked in a number of fundraising roles over the course of my career and I love the excitement and satisfaction that comes with fundraising for a good cause.

With 25% of New Zealand women experiencing depression either during or after pregnancy, the work of PADA cannot be underestimated. For me, fundraising on behalf of families suffering some form of perinatal distress, feels like I’m contributing back to society whilst working in a team of passionate people who feel the same way.

Sharon Vaka
Finance Coordinator

My role as the Financial Co-ordinator is a part-time role of 5 hours per week. I am responsible for all things Financial.  My background is in Hospitality Management which has taken me to many corners of the world. I now specialise in Accounts Management and Human Resources for a variety of small and medium businesses.

I am also mum to two precious primary school aged children.  I am excited to transfer my skills to a PADA which is making a positive difference in the life of Kiwi families.

Nurse and Lactation Consultant

Liora is a Registered Nurse and Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), with a Master in Public Health Education, now in her final month of completing a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. She has most recently worked as a Tamariki Ora (Well Child) nurse. Liora runs breastfeeding support clinics in Wellington and in the Hutt, and teaches antenatal breastfeeding classes, as well as a PND class she developed 3 years ago for Birth ED.

Originally from Mexico, she has lived in Israel, California and Hawaii and has worked with a variety of ethnic populations and refugees. She has three children, ages 10-19. She is passionate about supporting parents affected by Postnatal Distress, having been deeply affected herself by PND. She has a been a peer counsellor for Little Shadow (formerly PND Wellington) for 7 years, facilitated SPACE groups for mums with PND, and regularly conducts presentations about perinatal mental health to a variety of providers and groups.