About us

ME is about working together to realise the ambitions of Māngere and Ōtāhuhu's individuals, family and community.

About ME Family Services

Each of us at ME believes in the power of local community, in the people that make Māngere and Ōtāhuhu so special and give it a collective strength to achieve anything it wants – especially when the ME that’s inside each of us is prepared to make it happen.

ME is about working together to realise the ambitions of Māngere and Ōtāhuhu’s individuals, families and communities. We are here for everyone who lives in Māngere and Ōtāhuhu and who wants to grow and make a difference.

Every story has a beginning. This is ours.

Māngere East Family Service Centre has worked hard to be a pillar of strength in our community since 1993. Our strengths in Early Childhood, Parenting Engagement and Whānau Support are well known and we can be proud of our achievements and the special relationships we have cultivated.

In 2014, we renamed to ME Family Services where we continue our Early Childhood and Whānau Support and have grown a Taiao Team, focussed on regenerative practice, encouraging the importance of the relationship between people and place. We are proud of our journey to be a more sustainable organisation.

M E represents participation, resilience and empowerment. It is about a group of committed individuals working together to help people achieve their full potential and inspire positive change in the community.

Whether you’ve been with us for many years or you’re just meeting ME for the first time, the true energy of ME Family Services lies in each person’s ability to say ‘it’s up to me’.

Our Purpose

To inspire children, youth and families to thrive
To encourage a resilient and a regenerative community
To make a difference for Te Taiao and the places we work and live in


Activating potential to create positive change


Manaakitanga & Tiaki

We show respect, generosity and care for the wellbeing of people and place


We are responsible to make decisions for future generations

Culture and Identity

We celebrate people’s culture and identity and the richness of depth it brings


We recognise the importance of thriving and resilient whānau


We recognise communities shape our lives and promote wellbeing, inter-connectedness and a shared purpose


Our success depends on your success


We value everyone and everything in our ecosystem and look to strengthen our connections


Meet some of our team below. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

Caroline Tana-Tepania

Chief Executive

Carole was born and raised in Māngere, is of Ngāpuhi descent. Through her social work and management roles, Carole has been part of the ME Family Service since 2006. She has a passion for the well-being of tamariki and mokopuna with a strong desire to advocate for improved educational, health, and housing outcomes for whānau living in Māngere.

Carole is actively involved in the development of social work at the national and international levels and seeks opportunities to strengthen indigenous voice in these spaces and in communities.

Gareth Ashwell

B.Com, P.G.Dip. Bus Admin, CA
Audit, Public and Private sector financial reporting, Management accounting and budgeting.

Gareth joined MEFS in July 2013 and was tasked with the job of selecting and implementing a financial reporting system suitable for a “Not for Profit” organisation that would be adaptable in a continuously changing financial environment. His objective is to ensure that the MEFS remains on a sustainable financial path, so it can continue into the future to provide the necessary social services to the community of South Auckland.

Elaine Pereira

Office Manager
Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa, Ngati Hine

Elaine Pereira is passionate about whānau, community and creating brighter futures for all. Born and raised in South Auckland, her heart is for the people of South Auckland. She joined ME Family Services in 2023. Elaine enjoys the challenges and rewards that come with the daily operations of MEFS. From planning annual meetings to wrangling kids’ Rugby League, she is adept at wearing many hats and managing multiple stressors.
‘South Auckland is home to exceptional individuals with limitless potential and being a member of ME Family Services allows me to develop and serve this wonderful community’.


The Board provides overall stewardship of ME Family Services on behalf of the people and place.

We are committed to the purposes, practices and passion of ME Family Services

to encourage a thriving community.

Rev. Peter Sykes


Bridget (Biddy) Whateley

Deputy Chair

Rosi Fitzpatrick

Board member

Liz Muliaga

Board member

Miimetua Junior Tuakana Teariki

Board Member

Mohammed Amin

Board member - Mangere East Primary School BOT Rep

Yahnina Hutchings

Board member