Our Team

Meet the team and learn more about Hāpai Whanau

Welcome to Hāpai Whanau

A charity with a bright vision for family

Hāpai Whanau was founded in 2015 by Mike & Julie Edwards. The organisation was born out of their fostering journey, You can see their story here.

One of the guiding principles at Hāpai Whanau is to love without an agenda. Our staff and volunteers all share this common goal; to help parents enjoy parenting and build healthy relationships with their children.

All Hāpai Whanau’s resources are researched and science based.

Whilst relationship is the common goal of all our resources, it’s also perhaps the unspoken aim of every parent; A healthy relationship with our children.

Our courses weave scientific insights with your own wisdom so you and your whānau can flourish.

Our People

Our people come from a wide range of backgrounds, beliefs and cultures.

None of us have nailed parenting or relationships; among us are single mums, Grandma’s, and married couples – all with vastly different looking families.

One of our guiding principles is loving without an agenda. This value is important for our mahi as science continues to prove the power of unconditional love in parenting. It is also a cornerstone value at Hāpai Whānau. It informs everything we do, most importantly, the selection of our staff and volunteers.

It’s this drive which has created an incredibly inclusive organizational culture with a fantastic team of bright, hopeful positive people who believe in family.

The Board of Directors

Mike Edwards

Mike is CEO of Flare Fires and co-founder of Hāpai Whanau. Mike also operates Leading Where It Matters – for dads who lead.  Mike leads Hāpai Whanau along-side Flare Fires and enjoys working with world-class people that make this possible. Mike and his wife Julie attend Curate Church in Mt Maunganui New Zealand.

Julie Edwards

Julie Edwards is a mother of 6 and with her husband, Mike has fostered 37 other tamariki. Julie and Mike have a hugely positive view of whānau, in every shape it takes. Julie just loves babies and coming alongside mothers with their young children. They started The Bright Vision Charitable Trust and together with Wai launched Hāpai Mama in 2015.

Necia McBride

Necia McBride is a life-long friend of the Edwards. Necia has seven adult children and an ever growing number of grand children. Necia and her husband Murray have together created a uniquely inclusive and generous family culture that results in a house that is constantly full of extras. Necia volunteers as a co-facilitator across multiple Hāpai Whānau locations.

Waikamania Dinsdale Thompson

Waikamania started Hāpai Mama in 2012 following her own need as a young mama to find the support and direction needed to parent well. Wai created something special in Hāpai Mama which really is a reflection of how special she is. Wai is a wahine toa who exudes positivity and passion. She has three tamariki and is married to Wharera.

Wendy Wilson

Wendy Wilson has been working in the early childhood industry for 35 years. In kindergartens, early childhood  centers and Home Based Care. She worked as an Early Childhood trainer for parents and center staff for 10 years focusing on building secure attachments through the Circle of Security Model. She loves Jesus and sees this work as teaching people to love like He does. Wendy has been married to Dave for 32 years and has three adult children and 2 grandchildren.