Board Members

The governing board of Volunteering NZ

Helga Wientjes
Vice chairperson
What matters most to members
Tania Jones
Brayden Smith
Corrine Coombe
Board Member
Cathy Aiavao
Board Member – Pacific Peoples
Wendy Rapana
Board Member – Māori
Gail Marshall
Board Member
James Lord
Board Member
Ryan Hooper-Smith
Board Member

Staff & Volunteers

The operations team of Volunteering NZ

Michelle Kitney

Chief Executive

Michelle Kitney is the Chief Executive of Volunteering New Zealand. Michelle brings a unique mix of management and leadership skills, and the ability to work collaboratively and innovatively. She has a background in communications, marketing and digital engagement and, essentially, volunteer leadership experience. She has previously worked for a social enterprise, in the public sector and within the publishing industry. 

Dr Solmaz Nazari

Policy and Research Advisor
Having completed a PhD in Tourism Management, Solmaz contributes to VNZ’s policy and research portfolio. Over the past decade, she has solidified her research skills through her academic journey as well as various institutional research projects in the disability sector where she started her community/voluntary experience. Solmaz is passionate about achieving better outcomes for various social groups, the role of volunteering and volunteers in improving the well-being of communities, and developing empowering social policies that facilitate this process.

Heidi Quinn

Strategic Advisor

Heidi has a real passion for volunteering. She brings a wealth of knowledge of volunteer management, including the deployment of national IT platforms to support volunteer activity. With solid experience in national volunteer management, Heidi brings a strategic perspective into her role as Strategic Advisor at VNZ. In her free time, you’ll find Heidi…volunteering! Her current roles are with the SPCA and the IHC.

Amal Hamdy Alsheemy

Student Volunteer Week Campaign Manager

Amal is a strategic communication professional and experienced certified programmes and projects manager with a demonstrated history of working in the government and sports industry. Highly skilled in corporate communication, media and content management, sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, and international relations. Output-oriented professional with a Master of Science degree focused in Political Sciences/Environment International Law. 

Anna Rendall

Graphic Designer
Anna is our in-house graphic designer who has communications experience thrown into the mix. She brings the creative, design eye to the team and helps maintain visual identity at VNZ.  
Anna also works on freelance design projects and volunteers as designer and event coordinator with a local community organisation. Anna has Bachelor of Visual communication Design (hons) with a typography major. She’s also a member of the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) and has worked towards papers in communications and public relations.

Thuy Tran

Events Coordinator

Thuy has been volunteering with different organisations since 2005 in the fields of community services and event organising. In the pursuit of a master degree in TESOL in New Zealand, she has accumulated 2 year-experience volunteering for English Language Partners Wellington. While working at the International Office of Wellington High School as an administrator assistant, Thuy is volunteering for Volunteering New Zealand, in support of event organisation.

Karishma Dullabh

Project and Admin Coordinator

Karishma supports Michelle in various project, financial and admin tasks at VNZ. She has been involved in a few volunteering roles and is excited to be working in an organisation that encourages volunteering. Karishma has a Bachelor of Commerce & Administration majoring in Marketing and Information Systems and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology. 

Taeko Lorimer

Marketing Coordinator

Taeko has 10 years experience in marketing and relationship management in the travel and recruitment sectors. She recently became involved in Votuneteering NZ Pivot conference’s preparation and has been supporting the membership, marketing, communications and administration of the organisation. Taeko is excited to be part of the VNZ whanau, empowering volunteering to enrich Aotearoa New Zealand.

Kenzo Bui

Finance & Accounts

Kenzo has more than 10 years experience in business and financial support and accounting processing. She gained a degree with double majors in: Accounting and Finance in 2006. Kenzo’s first job was as a Business support officer at Quotable Value then various roles with Vehicle Testing New Zealand, Public Trust, other private companies as an account officer, plus work for non-profits. Kenzo joined Volunteering New Zealand in 2019 and looks after VNZ’s accounting and finance.

Taylor Hamling

Web Developer

Taylor is the web developer for VNZ working on the VNZ website, InvolveMe, Student Volunteer Week, National Volunteer Week, the annual VNZ conference and many more projects. Taylor is a professional freelancer with a degree in Computer Science. Taylor’s website:

Piyush Sharma

Business Analyst

Piyush is a Business Analyst at VNZ. He brings the ability to solve business-related issues positively. Piyush focuses on how he can improve the current business processes. Piyush likes to works around with problems where he uses his amazing analytical and problem-solving skills to mitigate the risk that impacts the business. He has a learning attitude that helps him grow every single day.

Lauren Hayes

Story Editor

Lauren is helping the team with communications material for National Volunteer Week 2019. She has a background in journalism, and has also worked in government and non-profit organisations. She is excited to help share the stories of volunteers working in communities across New Zealand.

Emily Bisset

Video and Media Advisor

Emily Bisset is a media maker, currently studying marketing at Victoria University. Her interests include live performance, music videos, social marketing, and wherever else art and effective communication meet. She finds volunteering to be an amazing way to contribute to and learn about your community, and has volunteered with VNZ on videos for Student Volunteer Week and National Volunteer Week in 2020.

Marcelo Klein Vieira

Business Analyst

Marcelo advises VNZ on ways to improve processes by applying sets of techniques for VNZ’s management systems and digital platforms. Marcelo has designed a new operational reporting tool for VNZ and is working with the team to analyse the input, outcomes and impact of VNZ membership. Marcelo is an experienced ICT professional with focus on Business Analysis. He brings knowledge of digital transformation projects across complex enterprise environments.

Johann Go

Research and Strategy Manager

Johann leads VNZ’s work on research-informed advocacy and the development of strategies for an inclusive, ethical and impactful sector. Johann brings expertise in humanities and social science research, strategy development, and translational research that links academia with policy. Johann has over a decade of experience in the community/voluntary sector, and previously led the development of VNZ’s recent migrant volunteering strategy. Johann is passionate about harnessing the power of volunteering to achieve social justice.

Johann is a Rhodes Scholar and postgraduate student at the University of Oxford. He currently holds a B.A. (Philosophy and Politics) and B.HSc (Public Health).

Erina Papp

National Learning and Development Manager

Erina Papp is an experienced organisational development and HR professional with a focus on engaging others to achieve results and turn vision into reality. She brings a unique mix of in-depth HR and senior management experience, coaching, counselling and community development expertise enable her to work with people to address both business and interpersonal challenges.