About Us

Our purpose is to connect and inspire men. Our approach is experiential, holistic and 100% New Zealand-grown in response to the needs and diversity of men in New Zealand. We conduct events for men of all ages and foster an ethos of men supporting each other within the context of their whanau and community. We encourage community development, a culture of service, and respect for women. The work is guided by the Essentially Men Education Trust, a Registered Charitable Trust funded by course fees, donations and community grants.

Our Trustees

We believe all men can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and in doing so, can change the world.

Father & Son

Our Vision

"For men to know themselves, connecting head and heart." 

Our Mission

To enhance the health and well-being of society by focusing on positive ways of being for men and boys, through promoting educational programmes, public awareness, leadership, community development and research. 

Our Goal

Thousands of men from all over New Zealand and all walks of life have found this outstanding programme a powerful catalyst for renewal and change. So will you. You will build trust and feel safe. You will get a deeper understanding of yourself and will leave with the freedom to be the authentic you.

These are not just talking workshops – they are potent experiences that will wake you up, give you skills, and change your life.

Our Team


Paul Watson (Chair)

I joined the EM network in 2012 after participating in EM83. Since then I have been on many service teams and other EM events including Heartbeat and GOTC, I love having my cup filled up by warm EM men.


I am passionate about the community of EM and my desire is for as many men to be engaged and connected into our wonderful network as possible.


When not working or doing EM activities, I enjoy spending time with my wonderful wife, Chrissy, my caring daughter, Sienna, and my energetic son, Brady, in our Whangaparaoa home. Any spare time I have finds  me umpiring cricket, playing sport or at a quiz night with my mates.

Phillip Rice (Vice Chair)

I have enjoyed the riches of EM for too long to remember.  For most of this time I have been shirking responsibility but now that my two beautiful boys have grown up I have run out of excuses.  I am hoping to give back something of the love and connection I have received. 

If I'm not in, on or near water I can get a bit grumpy.  For therapy, I like to step onto a stage with nothing…

Greg Newman-Watt

My partner Jeanette & I live in beautiful Ranui at the foot of the Waitakere Ranges and have 5 grown children between us.


I have been part of the Essentially Men community for around 14 years and am committed to it's goal of helping Men break their isolation.  It's a real privilege to be part of a network of such good people.


When not at work I enjoy family and friends, woodwork, cycling, swimming and the odd run.

Andrew Yelverton

I live in Blockhouse Bay with my wife, Alejandra and I have two children, Sara and Sean.


I was introduced to the world of Essentially Men as a participant in a Essentially Men weekend workshop in 2005 and since then I have been a strong supporter of the network and advocate of men’s work in general.


I am a keen cyclist and enjoy being in the outdoors except when it is raining of course, at which times you will generally find me at home curled up with a good book and possibly a glass or two of wine on hand.

Dennis Wickstead

My Purpose is to provide a safe place for us as men and women to build trust. To celebrate being ourselves and recognise we are all different, and to value authenticity. To disrupt isolation and build community through a deep understanding of what team really means. To coach the values that can be self-learned through this environment. To develop instinctive problem solvers.

I have been involved with the EM network since 2017.

Geoff Duncan

I joined EM network on EM93 and since then have been on a number of EM service teams and attended a number of other EM events, such as Essence and Crucible. I am a believer in life long learning and my passion is in helping others to be the best versions of themselves. I have found my true vocation for this by being a coach, trainer and facilitator. I am joyously married and have four wonderful children by two previous relationships. I enjoy general pottering, running and I'm a course junkie :)

Rayna Love

In 2009 I attended EM69 and subsequently I have noticed profound positive impacts on the lives of the men (and their families) in my ongoing men's group, which is still deepening and growing some 12 years on! I've attended other EM workshops and events as well as volunteering on many EM teams.


I find EM a richly rewarding culture that embraces and values all members of the family and community. I'm passionate about creating deeper connection through authentic communication, sharing and empowerment; and crave a deep understanding between men, women and children. 


I'm a parent to my two darling children Cameo and Jupiter; a life coach and I teach Kundalini Yoga and Meditation as well as other well-being courses online.

Any spare time I have sees me performing, recording, teaching and promoting music at wellness festivals and events around the country and overseas.


Andrew Hoare

I am an MBR number 76 man and have been involved in some way or another with the network ever since 2010. I have a special interest in the MBR Weekend Workshop and have rotated through roles from service teams to co-facilitating.


When not working I devote most of my time to being the best father and partner I can be.

Adrienne Hunt

I have been employed with Essentially Men since 2011. I initially started in a part-time finance role and am now involved in most areas of Essentially Men . I am passionate about the work of Essentially Men and ensuring that men in New Zealand get the support and care that they need.


They still won't let me go on the Men Being Real weekend or any of the courses. 

I live in Tokoroa with Oscar my Maltese and when not working I enjoy gardening, reading, DIY and crafts. 

Richard Aplin

For me as a man growing with passion for this network and the true essence it creates, I am privileged to be involved on a day to day basis with all the workings behind the scenes. Having my reason for getting up in the morning being my work, this allows my life to connect with so many men on so many different levels and gives me joy as well as the opportunity to process and share often, whilst being in service supporting men.


Rex McCann

- Founder

is well known and widely respected for his work in the area of men’s awareness in New Zealand and Australia. He has had twenty years of active experience in men’s groups and regularly attends men’s conferences in the U.S. and Australia, connecting with broader international influences.

He is author of “Fatherless Sons – the Stories of New Zealand men”, which examines men’s relationship with their fathers and the place of fathers in society. It has been published in Australia under the title “On Their Own – Men Growing Up Under Fathered”.

Contact Us

Ph: +64 9 3762386

Email: info@essentiallymen.net

P O Box 62, Tokoroa, 3444

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