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.
We believe all men can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and in doing so, can change the world.
"For men to know themselves, connecting head and heart."
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.
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.
You can contact the Trustees here
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…
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
I experienced my first EM event in 2020, and was deeply affected by my and the other men's positive response to the programme. I have since been involved in a number of EM events, all of which have convinced me there is something special about this organisation. I've joined the Trust to gain more experience and exposure to the EM philosophy.
Married with three beautiful kids, I'm a keen drummer and tennis player, and am looking to make a useful contribution to EM's work.
I was introduced to the EM community by someone saying they were her favourite bunch of blokes. And I found they are, indeed, a wonderful community of connected, vulnerable, funny and just plain men like you and me. The community of men that is EM offers such depth of connection, nothing compares. The EM benefits on my life flow to my partner Greta and 4 children.
When not being a dad (does that ever happen? :) I enjoy going to gigs, making the odd bit of noise music and driving my classic Fiat.
It is an honour to serve as a Trustee and help grow this wonderful community.
Andrew Hoare (Network and Programme Logistics)
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 facilitating.
When not working I devote most of my time to embracing fatherhood and relationship. Any time after that sees me going on bike rides, with a motor that is, and making music.
Adrienne Hunt (Executive Officer)
I started working for Essentially Men in 2011; initially in a part-time finance role. I am now full time and since I started I have tried my hand at most of the non workshop roles within Essentially Men. I am passionate about what Essentially Men offers to Men in New Zealand and that Men are provided with the support and care that they need for their own well being and a better outcome for New Zealand as a whole.
I live in Tokoroa with Oscar my Maltese and when not working I enjoy gardening, reading, DIY and crafts.
Andrea Wheatley (Pathways Development)
Originally from Nelson, I have also lived in Auckland and Wellington, but now reside in Sunny Otaki on the Kapiti Coast right near the beach. I have 3 fun spirited children aged 13, 15 and 18 (the 2 oldest are boys) and have spent years working with youth organisations in different capacities. I am studying chaplaincy and have 2 very small enterprises I run from home. I enjoy administration, marketing and events, so I feel very blessed to have a part-time role now as Pathways Development Co-ordinator. Our rangatahi need that sense of connectedness and belonging, so I love the kaupapa of EM and Pathways to Manhood and look forward to letting the rest of NZ know more about the work we do.
Our family loves the beach, walks, cafes, camping, fishing and travelling to cool spots around NZ. Even better if done with friends - the whanau we get to choose.
Norman Watson (External Marketing)
Hi, I am Norman, and I love serving the Essentially Men community and supporting men's growth by encouraging men to attend our workshops and retreats to be better men in all aspects of their lives. I supported Rex, the founder of EM which started 30 years ago, and I attend my fortnightly men's group which inspires me and keeps me honest.
I am married to Barbara with three adult children and enjoy our five grandchildren. The call of the wild sees me enjoy the outdoors, DIY and holidays, which I have plenty of in our motor-home exploring Aotearoa.
Rayna Love (External Marketing)
Kia ora! I'm grateful to be in a role at Essentially Men where I can make a positive difference to many lives. Norman and I share the External Marketing & Communications. Its our job to listen to men (or sometimes a man's partner) when they call in to ask about our courses and offer information to meet their inquiry. I'm constantly moved to tears in this role, as I engage with men who are choosing to step out of the shadows and into the light, to face the changes they know they need to make but aren't so sure how to. I was there 13 years ago.
I enjoy spontaneous music and dance, festival culture, teaching Kundalini Yoga and I'm at the University of Auckland completing my degree in Social Work and Counseling. I have my 2 beautiful children living with me. Life is very full.
Rex McCann - Founder
Rex 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”.