About Allies Aotearoa

We are practical, helpful, knowledgeable, skilled, competent and effective at assisting people as they walk the road of life that includes disability. We intimately understand this road because we are walking it as well. 

What we have found is that life can become better and we can live with and experience the fruits of hope and joy on a daily basis, regardless of our circumstances. We have learned through our own experience some of the fundamental principles and strategies that have been successful across the globe and we have applied them. We understand the incredible power imbalance that exists – the ‘force field’ we are all bumping into and the force field that at times can knock us off our feet. We have experienced (and continue to experience) this force field but we also have a much better understanding of what it actually is and what we can do about it.

Illustration of two hills with a road over them, with some flowers on the hill and a sun in the background.

‘Allies’ was born out of a deep understanding that life which includes disability can be very challenging. In addition to the day to day reality, comes the many complex and confusing systems that we need to navigate for access to good education, work, friendships, support services and home. Navigating our way through all of this can at times bring out our less than best self. Being isolated, confused and disempowered, but knowing we must keep going, can make life feel like an ongoing battle.

At Allies, we understand these experiences. We want you to know that you are not alone and that there are practical and functional actions that can be taken to turn the tide towards a good life for yourself and your family members. We have supported hundreds of people (individuals, families / whānau and organisations) to create a positive vision for their future, identity and obtain the resources necessary and then turn this into reality.

Our Team

Photograph / Portrait of Tony McLean

Tony McLean
(Founder & Ally)

Tony fell into the world of disability in 1993. Since that time he has volunteered and worked within the ‘system’ at many levels. His practical experience and knowledge ranges from providing direct hands on assistance and support for people right through to service evaluation, monitoring and system change. This enables him to be of very practical use to people.

Photograph / Portrait of Nicky Mayne

Nicky Mayne
(Ally & Family Leader)

Like most parents, having a child with a disability was Nicky’s first exposure to the complex world of disability and the never ending rollercoaster ride that is parenting a significantly disabled child. She now also leads a disability organisation and navigates her work and home life through the dual lens of parent and provider. Nicky challenges us to raise our expectations for paid work, having seen the possibilities and the difference it makes to living a good life.

We believe that

Everyone, regardless of circumstances, deserves to lead a Good Life.

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