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NZNN Governance

The New Zealand Newcomers Network (NZNN) is governed by Multicultural New Zealand (The Federation of Multicultural Councils Inc). Until 16 December 2016 it operated as its own Charitable Trust, governed by a Board.  The NZNN Trust Board met four times per year to discuss strategy for the network & to ensure the successful operation of Newcomers Networks throughout New Zealand.  The outgoing Board members (until 16 December 2016) were;


Claire Nichols nznnboard-14-claire–  Chair and Trustee – Claire was born and grew up in Nelson (the birth place of New Zealand Newcomers Network) but as a young 20 year old she had wandering feet and began exploring the world. After having travelling extensively throughout South East Asia Claire got what she thought was the perfect job and became a tour Leader for Intrepid Travel and led tours through Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Vietnam and Indonesia. After living a wildly exciting life for a number of years, which included getting married and living in Lombok Indonesia, Claire returned to Nelson to bring up her young family. Claire first became involved with Newcomers Network in 2006 when Nelson Multi-Ethnic Council (now called Nelson Multicultural Council) established the first Settling In supported Newcomers Network in New Zealand. Because Claire was co-ordinator of NMEC at the time she also ran the Nelson Network. Claire then went on to become the first New Zealand Newcomers Network National Coordinator. After taking a year off to have her 3rd child Claire came back to support Newcomers once again, this time as a trustee of NZNN.  She may not be seen as often at pub nights, coffee groups or movie evenings as she once was, but 8 years on Claire is still as committed to Newcomers Networks as ever.

Photo Karen LeeKaren Lee – Trustee and Secretary – Karen was involved in the first Nelson Newcomers group before the national network was set up, and has come full circle by becoming a board member in 2015.

Karen has lived in the UK and France – moving to New Zealand in 2004.  Working as a project manager with a focus on community resilience and sustainability – Karen has experience in local government as well as coordinating community driven projects such as the new regional digital action plan.





Photo Brigid RyanBrigid Ryan – Trustee – Brigid has worked with migrant communities around New Zealand, and has undertaken research on the social service needs of migrants and refugees. Her findings were presented in Settling In reports for Ministry of Social Development in areas from Albany to Bay of Plenty, Palmerston North and many centres in South Island.  She specialises in project management and research on social and economic development, especially at the local government/regional level.  New Zealand Newcomers Network was one of the initiatives recommended from Settling In reports.

Brigid has three adult children and six grandchildren and lives with her husband on a lifestyle block in Mapua near Nelson.





Jenna Baxter – Trustee – Jenna Baxter is new to the Board but not new to Nelson. She has lived here most of her life with a small stint over in England for 3 and a half years. She comes from a background in Youth Work and is very passionate about giving young migrants and refugees a chance to strive and connect with their new home and community. She became interested in joining and giving her energy, passion and time because her grandmother was a refugee in this country and knew of her struggle in a foreign land. Photo coming soon!


Kamaya in New YorkKamaya Crawford, BA Hons PGDipMusStud- Trustee – Kamaya has an educational background in English and Classical Studies. She graduated in 2000 from Massey University with a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies.She completed the He Kahui Käkäkura Strategic Leadership Programme in conjunction with Victoria University of Wellington and Te Papa National Services Te Paerangi in 2006.

Kamaya has worked as the Manager of the New Zeland Police Museum, Strategic Planner at Westland District Council and a Community Advisor with Internal Affairs. She is interested in Collective Impact and is a trainer in Results Based Accountability.

Kamaya has a lovely husband, three gorgeous step-children, two dogs and a cat. She enjoys playing golf, travelling to exotic locations and meeting new people.