Dr Deborah McLeod
BSc (Honours First Class, Zoology major)
Diploma of Public Health (Distinction)
I spend my spare time walking my dog, playing bridge and enjoying my mokopuna (three girls and a boy).
Dr Deborah McLeod has worked in research and evaluation for the past thirty years with specialisation in the health and social sectors. In recent years she has also worked in senior public service positions in the Ministry of Social Development and the New Zealand Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs. Between 2010 and 2012, she worked in Canada managing the Ottawa office of R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. Her clients included federal and provincial government agencies, trade sector councils, museum corporations, the police and universities. She has worked as director at Malatest International since 2012.
Debbie is an expert evaluator. Her project management, research and evaluation design knowledge and analytical skills make her a leader in her field. Her key strengths are designing and managing projects with multiple stakeholders, planning and conducting high-quality evaluations, developing ethical protocols, and technical reporting. She has experience across all data collection methods including survey data collection, stakeholder interviews, focus groups and controlled experiments.
Debbie also has extensive experience in developing and leading teams. In all of her roles she has developed training programmes and provided mentorship to ‘grow’ the evaluation skills of her staff.
Dr Lana Perese
BA (Honours First Class, Psychology)
PhD (Behavioural Science)
Hey, I’m Lana. I love spending time with family and close friends. Especially my teenage daughter who definitely keeps it real.
Lana began her research career at the University of Auckland and rose to the position of Pacific Health Research Manager. She moved to the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs where she provided Pacific Research advice to the Ministry executive and managed the research unit within the Ministry contributing to projects including Pacific Debt, Growing up in New Zealand and the study of Pacific non-regulated workers.
Lana joined Malatest International in 2013 as Tāmaki Makaurau/ Auckland Manager. She has led a range of projects with a focus on the Tāmaki Makaurau community and on Pacific research.
Lana has strong analytical and research skills developed from academic training and study, involvement and/or employment in extensive research studies within various Aotearoa universities for more than a decade and more recently in government research and management.
Her skills also include the ability to produce research and evaluation findings that support policy development. Lana has strong project management skills and experience leading projects within government and Aotearoa tertiary institutions. Lana is skilled in all aspects of research design, feasibility, conduct, analyses, evaluation and report writing.
BSc (Ecology and Biodiversity)
Kia ora! I’m Tim, I enjoy figuring new things out, anything from new recipes to new skills.
Tim worked for the Centre for Social Research and Evaluation in the Ministry of Social Development for more than three years. He worked on a wide range of projects, from analysis and presentation of administrative data to evaluations of youth and family support services.
Since Tim joined Malatest International in February 2012 he has worked on projects for the Office of the Auditor General, the Ministry of Health, Inland Revenue, the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Tim’s experience at the Ministry and at Malatest has exposed him to a wide range of research projects, from small-scale qualitative data collection for case study development to analysis of administrative datasets with hundreds of thousands of records.
Tim has designed and led research and evaluation projects for clients across the public sector. He is skilled in collecting and analysing both qualitative and quantitative data. He has conducted many interviews (over the phone and face to face), focus groups and phone surveys with subjects ranging from senior public servants to teenaged parents. He can build effective relationships with service providers to maximise the value of evaluation work to them and to our clients.
He is also skilled in using innovative approaches to reporting findings, through diagrams, summary reports, presentations and A3s.
Principal Research Analyst
BA Māori studies (Honours First Class)
Diploma in Te Pīnakitanga o te reo Kairangi
He uri ahau nō Te Aitanga ā-Māhaki, Ngā Ariki Kaipūtahi, Tūhoe hoki.
Ko Carel Smith tōku ingoa.
In my spare time…wait …what spare time! I am a mother of 4 who rises at 4.30am every morning to get a workout in (the only ME time in my day). Outside of my 9am – 5pm, I am an unpaid uber for my kids, volunteer sports coach, and weekend sideline supporter.
Carel has 10+ years experience working in the education sector, both within an iwi environment, and public sector. Most of Carel’s experience has been working with iwi and Māori communities directly, as well as representing their voices and needs. Carel is also an experienced facilitator of rangatahi focused programmes within schools, marae and community settings. Carel’s work focuses on bridging the gap between whānau needs and service delivery, where services can access and include whānau and community voice into strategy and programme design ensuring fit for purpose services that meet the needs of the community.
Carel has proficient knowledge in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, and has competent written and oral communication skills in both Te Reo Māori and English. Carel has experience in working alongside whānau ensuring they have the knowledge, skills and resources to support their dreams and aspirations.
Carel is an innovative thinker that has the ability to weave different perspectives, both personal and cultural, together to achieve common goals and shared outcome and providing a strategic lens when navigating barriers to enable sustainable changes and outcomes to be achieved. Carel’s expertise in engaging with Māori whānau and communities means her approach to evaluation centres on adequately representing the experiences and voice of Māori in all that we do. Carel brings a Kaupapa Māori lens to evaluation, and she is passionate about establishing a Kaupapa Māori team at Malatest.
Dr Roannie Ng Shiu
Principal Research Analyst
Malo le soifua maua. I’m from Savaia and Leone in Samoa and Manu’a in Tutuila (American Samoa). I have lived and worked in Samoa, New Zealand and Australia. As an avid traveller I’m always up for an adventure who prefers the unbeaten path and meeting new characters. What’s most important to me are family, friends and faith. Ia manuia.
Roannie is based in Auckland and joined Malatest in December 2022. Roannie has 15 years’ experience in human geography, and Pacific health, education, and development.
Roannie was previously a Research Fellow at the Australian National University where she designed Pacific Studies courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, led Pacific capacity building initiatives and was involved in large-scale Pacific development research projects. This included leading the Samoan National Election Observation study in 2016. In 2021 she joined the University of Auckland where she helped to establish the University Research Centre for Pacific & Global Health as a Co-Director.
Roannie has a strong background in research design and conducting research projects of all types, including qualitative, mixed-methods, longitudinal and cross-sectional studies. She has strong project management, stakeholder engagement and evidence-based policy development skills.
She has vast research experience in the Pacific region, Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Her most recent research collaboration with the University of West Indies and the Lancet Countdown focused on climate change and health policy development for Small Island Developing States. She is skilled in engaging with Samoan communities being able to hold conversations in both Samoan and English.
Mātanga/Senior Kaupapa Māori Analyst
Registered Clinical Therapeutic Social Worker (8112)
Practicing Certificate Social Workers Registration Board
BSW Bachelor of Social Work (Biculturalism in Practice)
Diploma in Heke Mātauranga Māori (Immersion)
Diploma in Te Pinakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi (Immersion)
Diploma in Te Aupikitanga ki te Reo Kairangi (Immersion)
Certificate in Leadership Māori Public Health
Certificate in Mental Health
Certificate in Mental Health Advocacy
Takatū ana ngā tai ki te akau o Tupāroa e whakanukunukuhia, kia whakanekeneke whiua rerehia rātou ki te wai, ki tai wiwi, ki tai wawā. Tū ana tā o Hikurangi, Ka titiro te ngutu awa o Waiapu, takiwa o Ngāti Porou ka tū ki Te Whānau-a-Hinetāpora, ko te maunga haumi tēra. Ko Mangahanea te marae, kei roto I te papatipu o Uēpōhatu, Ko Hinetāpora te tipuna whare. E tū ana Te Whānau-a-Hinetāpora ki te Tairawhiti.
I am a mother of seven sons, I am a Nanny and in my spare time I run a School of Ancient Māori Weaponry, Te Ahurewa Tapu Mau Taiaha Roopu.
Tina worked for the National Centre of Women’s Health Research Aotearoa (NCWHRA) Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington as Kairangahau Māori (Māori Researcher) in a rural setting researching the impact of Methamphetamine on Hapū māmā and their whānau, by Iwi invitation she was able to work with community, whānau and key stakeholders to look at the impact on whakapapa from a Kaupapa Māori qualitative strength-based approach and the findings of a solution within the community, whānau and iwi perpective.
Tina worked within the Mental Health and Addiction sector for over 20 years and specialized in Clinical Wellbeing within the Royal Commission of Inquiry into State Abused Care, conducted complex research, review and analysis of medical records, treatment plans and claim information. Tina specialized in Trauma Informed Care (TIC) and Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and worked from a holistic approach to health incorporating Mātauranga Māori practices from a therapeutic way of working to support the Commission and the whānau in State Care.
Tina developed her skills in Alcohol and Drug Addiction, Alcohol and Drug Assessments, Educational facilitation through Salvaltion Army Bridge Programme AOD services, then transitioned over to Rimutaka Prison as the Clinical Manager Drug Treatment Unit where she managed patient care, clinical services, financial management, quality assurance, safety and risk management and kaupapa Māori programmes through, moteatea, karakia, waiata and Tikanga Māori.
Tina has worked with vulnerable children between the ages of 5-13 years old as the Clinical Therapeutic Social Worker with Stand Children Services and specialized in Māori models of health such as Te Whare Tapa Wha, Te Pae Mahutonga, Ngā Takepu Principles and the Taiaha model of health and non-Māori models of care, Community Reinforcement Approach, Circle of Courage, Seasons of growth, CPI MAPA (Management of Actual or Potential Aggression).
Tina has been able to bring a Kaupapa Māori cultural practice from a Te Reo me ōna Tikanga Māori perspective, Āronga Māori (Māori worldview) as her technical experience. Tina is Kaupapa Māori driven with expertise in Kaupapa Māori Qualitative Research, through pūrakau, hitori, he wā pouri, mamae me hara (intergenerational trauma) which can be transformational using intergenerational resilience, Rongoa Māori, Mātauranga Māori, whakapapa, Te Reo me onā tīkanga.
Tina brings a passion for Clinical Therapeutic Social Work Practice working in the field of Biculturalism in Social Work in the Health and Wellbeing Sector working extensively with Adult Mental Health and Addiction and Rangatahi. Tina works within a myriad of Models of Care that have enhanced her practice from Te Ao Māori, Ngā Takepū Principles, Āronga Māori, Te Whare Tapa Wha, Te Wheke, mana enhancing ways of being. Tina communicates well in building relationships with community, Iwi, whānau and hapū and Tina is able to converse both in Te Reo and English. I am about transformational healing of an Iwi, hapū, whānau, tamaiti, hāpori and within Research the goal is reducing risk and preventable death for Māori Women’s Health, tamariki and Whānau. Tina brings a Kaupapa Māori lens to evaluation and the expertise of Clinical Therapeutic Social Work Practice.
Senior Research Analyst
Bachelor of Health Science
Post-graduate Diploma in Public Health
Mālō le soifua. Talofa lava! I’m Fofoa (short for Fofoaivaoese Hossanah) but also known as Foa, Oah or Aunty Fizzle. Family (human and 4-legged furry ones), friends and faith are the most important things to me. Nothing beats a good time with old-school music, humour and great food.
Fofoa joined Malatest International in March 2019. She has 5 years’ experience in Public Health, having previously worked at a Pacific NGO and the Auckland Regional Public Health Service. She has worked in the areas of smoking cessation, rheumatic fever and most recently, workplace wellbeing. Fofoa has a strong interest in the wellbeing of first responders. In 2018, she was involved in research team analysing the first wellbeing survey for staff in an adult emergency department and was also involved in research on the impact of a mindfulness intervention.
Fofoa has a background in qualitative research, she has analysed a range of information from small to large cohorts. She is skilled in engaging with Samoan communities being able to hold conversations in both Samoan and English. She has a strong interest in Pacific wellbeing and telling the narratives about experiences of Pacific, indigenous and minority groups within different settings. In 2016, she completed her thesis titled “Are we on the same page” which focused on the health literacy of Samoan mothers and the management of their unwell children’s care. Her interests and passion have been shaped by her years of experience being a youth leader and working with youth in churches.
Jane Apoiliu Stephen
BHSc (Honours First Class)
Talofa lava, I answer to many nicknames – Jandal Jane, GI Jane and Jane of the Jungle. Fortunately, my name is Jane…like Tarzan. I’m not a camper, but I did commit to completing the Queen Charlotte Track. So in my spare time, you’ll probably find me researching glamping options.
Jane joined Malatest in January 2021 and is based in Auckland. With over ten years of experience in public health research in both the academic and non-profit research environment, she has worked on various large and small scale research projects. Samoan born and New Zealand raised, Jane takes huge pride in seeing Pacific people thrive and succeed.
Jane is well-versed in qualitative research methods, including focus groups, semi-structured interviews and intervention design and evaluation. She has been involved in diverse research projects covering addictions (tobacco and alcohol), volunteer and customer insight and canine health and behaviour. Jane has worked predominantly with Māori and Pacific, and more recently with people who are blind, deaf-blind or have low-vision. Her honours dissertation was a qualitative research project exploring what motivates Pacific women to stop smoking and the cultural environments that support/hinder being smokefree. Jane is passionate about finding practical applications for research findings to improve outcomes.
Certificate in languages in Te Reo Māori
NZ Certificate in Intelligence
He uri ahau nō Ngāi Tahu.
I tipu ake ahau ki Ōtautahi.
Kei reira au e noho ana.
Ko Paris Porter tōku ingoa.
I fill my spare time with film photography, cooking, and watching a questionable amount of films.
Paris joined Malatest International in May 2021 and is based in Ōtautahi. She completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, with interest papers in abnormal psychology, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, forensic science, sociology and law. Additionally, Paris completed a Certificate in Te Reo Māori, and a New Zealand Certificate in Intelligence.
Paris has strong research skills, both qualitatively; through focus groups and interviews with whānau, rangatahi, providers, and community stakeholders, and quantitatively; through survey design, implementation and analysis using Microsoft Excel and SPSS. She also has experience analysing administrative data and creating reporting dashboards for clients to better understand their data. She has a passion for working with young people, as well as all things Te Ao Māori.
Dr Clair Miao
BA (Journalism and Communication)
MA (Gender Studies)
PhD (Media and Communication)
Kia ora! I’m Clair. I was born in Taiwan and came to New Zealand in 2014. I speak Mandarin, English, and Japanese. In my spare time I enjoy playing bridge, watching baseball, and travelling.
Clair joined Malatest International in November 2021 and is based in Auckland. She has research experience in both the academic and non-profit contexts. She has a particular interest in sport, gender, and media. Her PhD thesis examined how New Zealand and Taiwanese sportswomen were represented in media and audience response using a mixed method approach. In addition to her academic achievements, Clair completed an internship at Auckland Unlimited looking into the university promotion strategies towards international students. She is also experienced in working for women’s NGOs.
Clair has strong analytic skills in both quantitative and qualitative research. She has experience in building surveys, conducting interviews, and using SPSS. She also has specialities in media and audience analysis. Clair has been involved in multiple research projects working with people from diverse backgrounds. She is excited about incorporating her experiences, knowledge and skills into her work.
Dr Tracy (Xiaoying) Gao
Kia ora, I am Tracy. I was born in China and came to New Zealand in 2016 to complete my PhD.
Tracy joined Malatest in August 2022 and is based in Wellington. Tracy has about seven years of academic research background, primarily in the educational field, starting with her master’s degree in China to her PhD in New Zealand, at the University of Auckland. Her PhD involved large-scale, cross-culture survey research, which examined the impact of educational assessment and feedback contexts on students’ approaches to learning regarding their conceptions, motivation, goals, strategies, and performance.
Tracy has well-trained skills in research design, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting through years of academic training and research practice. Her analytical skills are centred around survey research and quantitative analysis, ranging from basic statistical analysis to more advanced modelling techniques, such as confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling. She has strong abilities to use analytical software programmes, including SPSS and R Studio. Tracy is deeply passionate about research and data analysis and keen on continuously advancing her knowledge and skills.
Dr Molly Fisher
BSc (Honours First Class, Psychology)
PGDip (Clinical Psychology)
NZPB Registered Clinical Psychologist
Kia ora, my name is Molly. I was born and raised in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, spending time in my garden, and walking my dog.
Molly joined Malatest International in April 2023 and is based in Wellington. She completed a PhD in Social Psychology alongside a Post-Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington. Molly’s PhD research examined why people who endorse sexist beliefs about women resist seeking support in times of need. She also has experience working in a clinical setting with young people with Type 1 Diabetes who require mental health support.
Molly’s research experience sits primarily in quantitative methods, survey design, and data analysis. She also has strong report writing skills and experience presenting complex research findings at conferences and seminars. Molly has a passion for working with young people and supporting their mental health and wellbeing.
BCom (Economics, Finance and Information Systems)