The MOKO Foundation Team

Our people working for our community

At The MOKO Foundation we have a team of highly skilled experts who govern the organisation as Trustees.  Each of our Trustees brings a unique set of knowledge, skills, abilities and experience to their role, as well as serving as leaders and role models in the community.


The MOKO Foundation Trustees (from left to right): Trevor Beatson, Tracy O'Sullivan, Dr Lance O'Sullivan, La-Verne King and Brendon Morrissey.

Dr Lance O'Sullivan -  Founder & Chair



Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leader Award 2013
Public Health Association Public Health Champion Award 2013
TVNZ Māori of the Year 2013

Dr Lance O'Sullivan is an accomplished author, national and international speaker, role model and disruptive leader and innovator.  From a young boy labeled by society as a trouble maker, Lance developed into a passionate advocate for Māori health.  He is a pioneer for equal health care in his community and a champion for creating a fairer New Zealand.

In June 2012 Lance made the headlines when he left his former employer after a difference in patient philosophy - he believed in treating patients regardless of whether or not they could afford treatment.  He left disillusioned with a system that failed to deliver the care needed for his patients and vowed to change the system for the better.  

Now ensconced in the Far North of New Zealand, Lance has set about making this happen.  Harnessing the skills he acquired from his cultural heritage and medical training, he and his wife Tracy established Navilluso Medical, a healthcare company committed to developing innovative ways to ensure appropriate and quality health care reached the right people in the right place at the right time.

Lance and Tracy, have seven beautiful children (5 boys and 2 girls).  They live and work in Kaitaia, a remote and challenged area of rural New Zealand.  Lance truly believes that he has led a charmed life and even now reflects on this...  

"I used to feel that I should pinch myself to see if how life
had played out for me was real or a dream"

Lance founded The MOKO Foundation, inspired by the opportunities that he himself had experienced in life and which allowed him to grow and develop into a well-educated, well-rounded, family man and community leader.

Today, as the Chair of The MOKO Foundation, Lance is truly passionate about and devoted to connecting people with opportunities for a better Aotearoa New Zealand.

Deidre Otene - Chief Executive Office

Deidre Bio Pic 4

Te Uri Mahoe, Kohatutaka
Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa

"Whaia te Muka o te Harakeke.  Ko mātou i mataau.  E Taurahere ana, ki ngā mātua Tupuna"

Deidre was born and raised in Mangamuka; educated at Maungataniwha te Kohanga Reo, Mangamuka Primary School, Okaihau College and Auckland Girls' Grammar; and became a University of Auckland Vice Chancellor scholar.  She returned home recently with her two children, Tegen Atarangi and Temana mai i ngā Rangi.

Deidre is a Fellow of the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation World of Difference.  She has a successful career history to date, leading health and social services in Queensland, Australia and Auckland.  She has experience in building community development models relevant to the communities and environments they serve to overcome inequalities and achieve sustainable outcomes.

Deidre began her career in the Youth Justice space, moving in health leadership and advocating for Tikanga and Kawa to be leading drivers in maintaining relevance and true direction.  Her experience working within the adult justice system then directed her to focus on strength-based initiatives that would create intergenerational change for future generations.

Deidre is focused strongly on lifting leadership and governance across the region to achieve sustainable outcomes and believes that placing children and young people at the centre of decision making will create positive, sustainable intergenerational change.

She enjoys participating in sport and physical activity and has represented New Zealand and the region in codes, including netball, boxing, basketball, volleyball, marathons and kabaddi.  Nowadays, however, Deidre finds more joy in following her children around the field, court, bush and on the water.

"Through innovation, our commitment to fact and reason, and ultimately our faith in each other, we can overcome any problem and provide sustainable positive outcomes".

Tracy O'Sullivan


Mā te tini, mā mano, ka rapa te whai. By many, by thousands, the work will be accomplished.

Tracy hails from Te Arawa and after many years in Rotorua, moved with husband Lance to the beautiful Far North (their home for the last 11 years).  

Mother to seven children, aged between 7 and 23 years, Tracy identifies with the challenges facing whānau today. Her basis for becoming involved in the Foundation was the desire to inspire and offer support and manaaki to those whānau, tamariki and rangatahi who need it the most.

Tracy believes that "a hand up and not a hand out" is key to the TMF philosophy and being a piece of a larger puzzle that when joined, will create a more resilient and thriving community.

Trevor Beatson


Trevor Beatson (Te Rarawa / Ngāpuhi) describes himself as a Fisherman and Diver, but he is the National Operations Manager for a Kaitaia based IT Health Company.  Prior to this role, he had 21 years law enforcement experience, where he spent the last 11 years as a Detective Sergeant leading the Far North investigative branch.

Trevor is married with four children aged 12, 17, 19 and 21.  He moved north to escape the city, return to familial roots, and raise his family in the coastal environment.

With over 20 years of dealing with criminals and victims of every kind, Trevor is acutely aware of how easy it can be to fall into the wrong crowd, make the wrong choice, and choose the wrong path.  In his current role he has seen plenty of inequity around access to health, education, leadership and other development opportunities for children and young people.    

He has a passion for helping young people make good decisions, set goals, work hard and be engaged in education, community and sporting activities.  Trevor devotes many hours to community and church service, and gets a buzz out of seeing "bad kids do good, and good kids do better”.

A champion for the underdog and the “good old kiwi battler”, Trevor got involved in the Foundation because he could see real opportunities to help better young people, their circumstances, families and communities.

La-Verne King

La Verne

La-Verne King (Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa/Ngāti Paoa) was one of the founding partners of the first all-women Māori and Pacific law firms - KAM Legal - based in South Auckland.

In 2007 La-Verne and her whānau returned to live in the beautiful Doubtless Bay in the Far North, where she continues to practise law.

An experienced Family and Youth Court lawyer, La-Verne has also given her time and experience assisting many community organisations and school boards.  La-Verne is passionate about improving the lives of children and rangatahi and helping whānau achieve their full potential.

Brendon Morrissey


Brendon is a firm believer that those who have the ability to help others also have the responsibility to help others.  Being a Trustee of The MOKO Foundation gives him a real opportunity to put these words into action. 

Brendon is passionate about creating opportunities for everyone, especially for youth and those with special needs. He is actively involved in the community through school, sport and community based projects.

Brendon is a hard worker and does not shy away from intense labour or long hours.  However, he espouses “working smarter, not harder".

He is a people person and believes that developing strong and positive relationships is the key to success in life.

Brendon has been helping children, their whānau and his local community since 1995 in his capacity as a teacher, coach and mentor.  Since January 2001, Brendon has been “hands on” in his role as the Principal of Kaitaia Primary School, advisor and community leader.  His intention is to continue doing so for as long as he is able.