DPA welcome Karlena Misiuepa and Pip Townsend who join the DPA team.

A head and shoulders photo of Karlena with a big smile and sunglasses

Karlena Misiuepa

Katiaki Mahi | Employment Enhancer
Mahi Tika - Equity in Employment

Fakalofa lahi atu (Greetings)

My name is Karlena, I am born and bred in Auckland (first generation) and am from the beautiful rock of Polynesia Niue.

I have been given the privilege of being employed as the new Kaitiaki Mahi (Employment Enhancer) for Mahi Tika - Equity in Employment in the Waikato region.

My work career started in the older age sector working with elderly people as an Activities Co-Ordinator. I have worked in rest home, hospital and dementia care - a job I really enjoyed and have continued to remain good friends with those I worked with to this day (I now tell everyone they are my family).

With the encouragement of family and friends I shifted career paths after being in the industry for over 10 years and went to work as a Teacher Aide at a specialist school. On finding out that they were placing in me in high school I was nervous, but will tell everyone that it was one of the best experiences that I had. Those students taught me to look outside of the box and see the potential that I feel everyone has in giving something a go. With great support there is so much that can be achieved!

In my spare time I like to read, swim, Zumba, tai chi and most of all hang out with my family.

I am excited about this new role and look forward to working with the teams of Mahi Tika - Equity in Employment, DPA and people in the community.

Faakaaue Lahi (Thank you)


A head and shoulders photo of Pip smiling with greenery in the background

Pip Townsend
Kairuruku Pāpāho | Communications Coordinator

Kia ora,

I’m Pip, the new Kairuruku Pāpāho Communications Coordinator. I am based in Wellington and work for DPA part-time. My job includes working on the Information Exchange.

My passion is accessible communications, particularly plain language, translations and alternate formats. Job-wise, I’ve been working for a while now in publishing and communications – since 2003. In the DPA archival files we recently unearthed some of my work dating back to the first Consumer Voice summit in 2005.

I have another work life as the Communications Manager at People First NZ, which is also a Disabled People's Organisation. Whilst DPA is pan-impairment, People First NZ focuses on ensuring people with learning (intellectual) disability can speak up for their rights. We're finding the two roles sit naturally because of the long-term relationship between the two organisations.

At the moment, I'm enjoying getting to know the team, learning about Information Exchange and finding out more about the role. And in my spare time I'm hanging out with my family and friends, digging in the vege garden, cooking what I grow in the vege garden, sewing and taking art classes.

Ngā mihi nui,