Consumer Advisory Group

The members appointed are:

Betty Pulefolau-Kolose, MEdL, GradDipCareersDev

Betty’s journey with her eldest son on the Autism Spectrum was the inspiration behind setting up Pasifika Autism Support Group (PASG). Research has shown that Pasifika families do not take up assistance or support compare to other ethnic groups. Early support is significant to increase the benefits longer term. She currently sits on the Board for Fountain of Knowledge Trust and in 2010 Betty served on the Faiva Ora National Leadership Group.  This group provided quality advice and support to the Ministry of Health with regard to Pacific disability perspective.

Betty presented “Pasifika Perspective of Autism” at the Altogether Autism Conference 2015 in Auckland and the Autism NZ Conference 2014 in Nelson.  She has vast experience working in the tertiary sector. Betty is of Samoan descent from the villages of Salesatele, Falealili and Suifaga, Savaii.

Daniel Smith

Daniel grew up and was educated in the United Kingdom working for many years as a medical scientist in the health sector. He moved to New Zealand in 2008 to take up a role as a medical scientist, advancing to the role of technical specialist in immunohistochemistry.

Daniel is an autistic man and has a blended young family including six children diagnosed on the spectrum. He received his diagnosis at the same time as them when he was in his 30s.

Daniel joined the Consumer Reference Group after presenting lived experience at the Altogether Autism conference in Auckland in 2018.  He has worked with Waikato Museum to help them create autism friendly evening for some exhibits and joined the living guidelines group who recommend updates to the New Zealand autism spectrum guidelines.

Daniel has given teacher training to some schools based on his experiences of education and unknowingly being on the spectrum. Read more