Debbie is from Tūhoe iwi, Te Mahurehure hapū, and has connections to Te Whakatōhea, and Upokorehe hapu. She has a keen focus on supporting Iwi and Māori initiatives which progress Maori development as well as community based initiatives to build their evaluation capacity.
Debbie has a Bachelor is Social Science (Psychology), a Masters is Social Work, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Psychology. She has also completed postgraduate papers in programme evaluation at Auckland and Waikato Universities. Debbie is an Executive Member of Mā te Rae, Māori Evaluation Association and was a previous Board member of ANZEA, the Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association.