Organisational structure & staff
As a professional membership organisation representing professional massage therapists from all over New Zealand, Massage New Zealand Incorporated (MNZ) is governed by an Executive Committee made up of members that represent the variety of professional backgrounds that MNZ members come from.
The Executive Committee is responsible for carrying out all matters related to the objectives of the association as set out in the Constitution, setting the strategic direction of the organisation and ensuring that the business and affairs of MNZ are well managed and consistent with the Constitution and Rules of the association. The committee consists of 2 Co-chairs, a Treasurer, an Education Officer and 5 non-specific Executive Committee members. Executive positions are elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and positions are held for a period of two years. Each Executive Committee member has a specific portfolio of responsibilities and tasks. In addition to executive positions, there are also some non-executive positions - NZQA Liaison and 2 Magazine Editors, and an Education sub-committee. The non-executive roles are elected at the AGM and are held for one year.
MNZ also has three paid part-time administration staff who carry out the administrative support functions for the organisation. The Executive Administrator reports directly to the Executive Committee, carries higher level administrative functions and supports the Executive in their work. A General Administrator who deals with membership, advertising and general administration. A Financial Administrator who supports the Treasurer and carries out financial related administrative tasks.
The current MNZ Executive Committee comprises 2 Co-chairs, a Treasurer, an Education Officer and 5 non-specific Executive Committee members (each with an assigned portfolio)
Download as PDF of Organisational Chart
Co-chair - Florence Samuels
With the wealth of experience and knowledge that lies within this collective, this is an exciting time to be on board with MNZ.
My family, my culture and my proclivity to help people have continually influenced my vocational journey into massage therapy. Growing up and watching my Samoan grandmother treat my father and his rugby teammates with the practice of fofō, I was intrigued and sensed a connection to healing touch.
Almost 5 years has passed since my business partner and I opened our clinic, Origin Manual Therapy in Wellington, and within that short time, it has been a privilege to witness and be part of a growing appreciation for massage therapy.
Being part of an executive committee or involved in any governance related work has never fallen within my radar of interest. When the opportunity to join the Massage New Zealand Executive Committee was first presented to me, I was reluctant. But after the completion of my degree in 2020, a rewarding 2021 of being truly present in clinic, and a rejuvenating break with family over the festive season, I came into 2022 with a more open perspective and decided to take the step into the fold.
I’m anticipating a steep learning curve in joining this executive committee; but when does learning ever end right? With the wealth of experience and knowledge that lies within this collective, this is an exciting time to be on board with the existing members. During the uncertain time and environment that we’re all navigating at the moment, there is a feeling of purpose in being part of potential change and development for our industry; and that is something to look forward to.
Florence was co-opted onto the Executive Committee in February 2022.
Email Co-chair (Florence and Bernie)
Co-chair - Bernie Withington
I am looking forward to establishing a solid foundation to develop our future whakawhanaungatanga of massage therapy, allied health, and primary health care.
I began my massage career about four years ago in 2017, by renting a room at an Osteopath clinic in Wellington CBD. After our first COVID lockdown I threw caution to the wind and started Waiora Collective, a Complementary Therapies & Holistic Health studio in Porirua.
As a fledgling in our industry, it may seem odd that I have agreed to be thrown in the deep end as Co-chair and hold the Complaints portfolio for our association. I often said while studying at NZCM that I would participate and contribute to our governing body. So, here I am.
Massage New Zealand Incorporated is ready for progression. Our deficit of matauranga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi in our documentation and policies, highlights the necessity to implement our kawanatanga in a more inclusive environment.
Working collaboratively with fellow Co-chair, Helen Smith will have many advantages, and I am looking forward to learning from her and establishing a solid foundation to develop our future whakawhanaungatanga of massage therapy, allied health, and primary health care.
So, if you want to be part of this exciting progression, please contact us, as there are plenty of work groups where your participation will be valued.
Bernie was co-opted as Vice-President in May 2021. This role was then altered to Co-chair and ratified at the Special General Meeting on 1st August 2021. Bernie was elected as Co-chair at the AGM in September 2021.
Bernie looks after the MNZ complaints portfolio. Email: Complaints
For other executive related matters, email Bernie: Co-chair
Treasurer - Vicki Scott
The lovely people on the MNZ Executive Committee, their enthusiasm and passion are what inspired me to put my name forward and I look forward to being part of the team.
I commenced my journey into Bodywork only 6 years ago, starting with a Relaxation & Rejuvenation Massage course at the Lotus College here in Dunedin. I found I loved working with the feet so I Completed a Diploma in Reflexology. While attending a workshop on Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage (RLD) I discovered the lymphatic system, and it became one of my passions.
I attended many workshops over the next couple of years and in 2019 I went back to Otago Polytech to complete the second year of the Degree in Applied Science. Early 2020 I completed my Decongestive Therapist training and am now a certified therapist. I have also completed training in Oncology Massage and Scar therapy. I love what I do and am continually learning.
Alongside of training for my new massage career I have been working in my other career as a Management Accountant for a local business.
Previously, I have been the Treasurer for my children’s school BOT and Reflexology New Zealand. On both committees I was involved with Policy, Strategic planning, and HR. I feel these skills will help, as we progress to increase our recognition as a respected professional body.
Vicki was elected as Treasurer at the AGM in 2021.
Education Officer - Doug Maynard
I will do my best to work alongside the remarkable, talented and incredibly experienced and passionate Executive Committee and Admin Team at MNZ to represent and support you all in promoting, protecting and securing a promising and successful future for massage therapy in NZ.
Doug has a 20-year history as a professional RMT and is the proud Owner and Director of a clinic in Auckland. He leads a highly skilled & experienced team focusing in Soft-tissue and Massage Therapy Solutions & Care, Injury recovery & Rehabilitation. Dougʼs particular area of passion is in the treatment of Cervical & TMJ dysfunction; headaches / migraines; exercise rehabilitation/conditioning through improving movement strategies & structural integration philosophies.
Doug has been a tutor and Senior Lecturer on the Clinical Therapeutics Program for Diploma Levels 6 & Degree Level 7 for most of his time in the profession at NZCM Auckland Campus where he studied all of his NZQA qualifications. Over the years he has added to his knowledge and skill base attending many Workshops & Courses from Joint Mobilisation to Advanced Dry Needling & Traditional Chinese Medicine Principles to Structural Integration.
I have known many colleagues over the years who have been involved with MNZ at every level of our superb organisation. I have had many discussions regarding the future of our profession and how MNZ work tirelessly to provide us all with security, support and positivity. Observing the movements within MNZ, it became apparent to me to put my hand up to support MNZ from within the organisation rather than on the fringes. Looking at the positions available it was obvious to me that the education aspect suited my experience.
Doug joined the MNZ Education sub-committee at the 2019 AGM in Hamilton. He was then elected as Education Officer by the MNZ Executive Committee in December 2019. Doug was re-elected at the AGM in 2021.
Email: Education Officer
Executive Committee Member - Shelley Moana Hiha
I would love for MNZ to develop as an organisation that organically gives effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi; able to reflect that we are a profession within Aotearoa New Zealand with a uniqueness that is ours because of the land we are living in, for the benefit of all.
My initiation to massage was from my dad and I followed in his footsteps of providing massage to whanau and sports teams for aroha. Later after a serious neck injury massage was one of the few therapies, along with aromatherapy baths, that helped with pain management. I decided to retrain, to shift sport and holistic wellbeing from hobbies to a career. My professional career in massage began as the first fulltime massage locum in Auckland until I settled into a contract position with HealthZone Medical Clinic specialising in sports massage.
I commenced teaching massage shortly after graduating, having staff training and educator experience and continue working in massage education.
Journey onto the Executive
After providing a lot of feedback during the MNZ review in 2020-2021, I decided that I needed to be involved and not just protest from the side lines. It is important to me to give back and support future massage therapists to achieve their life goals and enter the profession I love so much. My journey in massage has been supported by others throughout my career which is one of the great things about this profession and industry. I am proud to be a massage therapist and my wish is that massage therapists continue to graduate as well educated, informed, client centred, culturally responsive, professional, holistic practitioners who love what they contribute to their communities.
To me Massage New Zealand needs to be membership driven and responsive; inclusive: open to new ideas and ways of operating; be political and advocate for the profession and influence the industry; be proactive and provide leadership. That leadership needs to be membership driven through engagement and involvement so that our national association influences the direction for our profession. We on the executive are human and if you leave it to us alone, you get our best but from a limited number of perspectives. My wish is for membership to get involved and help to get massage integrated and recognised in our countries healthcare system, acknowledging the contribution massage therapists make to wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand. So provide MNZ feedback, ideas and propose solutions for old problems to assist the association to be more representative of the larger collective.
Shelley Moana was elected as Executive Committee Member at the AGM in September 2021. In December 2021, Shelley Moana took on the portfolio of AHANZ rep for MNZ.
Email: Shelley Moana Hiha
Executive Committee Member - Felicity Molloy
My aim is to share rich forms of critical enquiry that extend our perceptions of the body in various stages of life with evidence-informed practice. I look forward to reaching out to massage practitioners and prompting diverse approaches to increasing the benefits of knowing about research in professional practice.
Felicity brings more than 25 years of clinical massage, education and research experience. Felicity was drawn to the enquiry of human movement as a communicative form through somatics and contemporary dance. She completed her Diploma in Remedial Therapy at Wellpark College (1995) and worked at the Westmere clinic (BodyStill) since 2000. With tertiary qualifications in education, Felicity helped develop Relaxation Massage and Applied Anatomy courses in the early days of NZQA. Also, then undergraduate dance degrees at Unitec (BPASA), the University of Auckland and AUT. In 2014, Felicity became the Wellpark College Programme Leader for Massage and Yoga, and Education Advisor teaching Naturopathy and Nutrition students research methods and critical thinking. In order to maintain ‘practice’ as the source of knowing the body, Felicity maintains a long-term yoga practice with Senior Iyengar teacher, Peter Thompson.
Felicity was co-opted as an Executive Committee Member in November 2021, and ratified at the 2022 AGM (previously Research Officer from September 2018 to May 2020).
Email: Felicity Molloy
Executive Committee Member - Wayne George
My motivation to remain an active member of MNZ and the opportunity to join the Executive Committee revolves around utilising my knowledge, built from our industry, and transferring my governance knowledge/experience to assist the MNZ organisation to move forward and to support our membership.
Wayne was born and raised in Wales, where he qualified as a diesel mechanic within the coal mining industry until moving to NZ in 1980.
My family, of my wife of 43 years, two adult sons and 5 granddaughters are the light of my life and investing quality time with them is one of my main motivators.
I've been a qualified RMT for 18 years and a member of MINZI/MNZ also for 18 years. simultaneously, I've been a first aid trainer/responder for 17 years.
My clinical practise has been in operation for exactly 20 years as I compile this bio! I have a major interest in stroke rehabilitation, having suffered and fully recovered from the effects of such as a teenager. Another area of my industry expertise is in the elite sport massage sector, which has offered me wonderful opportunities and the privilege of working with and treating many national and international squads since 2006.
I'll hit the ground running and very much look forward to working with the current Executive team.
Wayne was elected as an Executive Committee Member at the AGM in September 2022.
Email: Wayne George
Executive Committee Member - Lauryn Johnston
I joined MNZ as an executive member as I think I can bring valuable experience and knowledge. I want to raise the profile of evidenced-based women’s health massage and Aromatherapy and help to raise the profile of massage therapy within the health sector of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
My massage career started in 2003 with a weekend course at NZCM. I was drawn to massage to help my father, who has psoriatic arthritis. Since my first course, I have worked, studied, and trained therapists around the world.
In 2014 I found my niche working with pregnant women, as I worked in a clinic next to three maternity hospitals in Sydney, where many pregnant clients came in and sometimes visited in latent labour. I thought I had sufficient training in this area but after an incident where a pregnant woman passed out on the table, I took every course I could on Pregnancy Massage & Prenatal Aromatherapy. I have trained with many of the world's experts, including Carole Osborne, Suzanne Yates, Tisserand and Paula Jasper.
When I returned to New Zealand in 2016, because of my expertise, I was welcomed by NZCM Wellington to be a tutor and write course content for Pregnancy Massage, Aromatherapy and Advanced Prenatal Massage CPD courses.
Since being back in New Zealand, I have created a thriving practice caring for women in their childbearing years and woman with chronic pain. I have also been involved in research for Aromatherapy as a topic expert. I strive to keep up to date in the industry and am currently studying at Wintec for a level 6 Diploma in Remedial Massage which will be finished in 2023.
Lauryn was elected as an Executive Committee Member at the AGM in September 2022.
Email: Lauryn Johnston
Executive Committee Member - Vacancies
If you are an MNZ member interested in learning more about being part of the Executive Committee then feel free to get in touch! Email the Executive Administrator for a copy of a Role Description or contact the Co-chairs for more information.
Education Committee - Pip Charlton, Dawn Burke, Joanna Tennent, Susan Zwaagdijk
Non Executive Posts
Magazine Co-Editor - Rachel Ah Kit
As the massage therapy industry strives for better recognition in the healthcare sector, it will be even more important for massage therapists to have access to quality, evidence-based information they are able to incorporate in their own practice.
After working for many years in marketing, I decided it was time for a change. I chose to study massage therapy full-time at the (now defunct) Canterbury College of Natural Medicine and joined MNZ as a student in 2010. Immediately after graduating I opened my own clinic, Bodyworks Massage Therapy, operating in Christchurch for over 10 years, currently with three clinic rooms.
I've also taught at the New Zealand College of Massage and New Zealand College of Chinese Medicine, enjoying the chance to help develop the next generation of therapists.
Being a member if MNZ is an important part of my professional development. My MNZ practicing certificate is proudly displayed in clinic reception, along with those of all other contracted therapists, signalling to clients that we all meet a high standard of training and competency.
My interest in working with people living with persistent pain, lead me to further study and I will complete my Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science, endorsed in Pain & Pain Management, from the University of Otago in October 2020. Next year I will commence my research-based Master's degree, adding to the growing body of clinically applicable evidence for massage therapy.
I look forward to working with Odette to further develop the platform that she and outgoing co-editor, Carol, have built, creating a truly world-class industry magazine.
Rachel was appointed to the position of Magazine Co-editor at the 2020 AGM.
Email: Magazine Editor
Magazine Co-Editor - Odette Wood
I enjoy this volunteer involvement. I get to develop networks with massage therapy and other allied health professionals, educators and writers all around the world, bring exciting new ideas and information to our members to challenge and expand thinking, and work with someone equally passionate about sharing knowledge.
I studied massage therapy at the New Zealand College of Massage in Wellington 2013-2014 after working in the primary health and community sectors for many years. An organisational restructure in 2012 gave me the opportunity to rethink about where I wanted to go career-wise. I'd received a lot of massage over the years and I knew it was a really beneficial treatment so I decided to do a weekend introductory massage course to find out more. I really enjoyed the course and from there decided to enrol in a 6 month Certificate in Relaxation Massage, and when that wasn't enough I went on to complete my diplomas. I started my own business - Equilibrium Massage Therapy - in Wellington at the end of 2014 after finishing my fulltime studies.
Executive Administrator - Nici Stirrup
It's exciting to have the opportunity to combine my admin skills with current knowledge and experience of the massage industry. I hope this allows me to provide excellent care of the MNZ organisation and its' members.
After having experienced the amazing benefits of massage as part of recovery from chronic back pain and having a keen interest in how the body moves and functions, it was a natural progression for me to the profession of massage therapy.
I grew up mainly in the UK and over the years I have gained experience in a multitude of customer focused and admin roles.I began massage training at NZCM in Auckland in 2009. After many years of part-time study whilst raising two small children I completed the Bachelor of Health Studies in Massage and Neuromuscular Therapy in 2017. Since 2015 I have been treating a variety of clients in clinic assisting with acute and chronic pain, stress management and exercise rehabilitation. I also provide regular on-site massage at a retirement village.
I have been a member of MNZ for many years and feel that it is an integral part of becoming and remaining a professional therapist. MNZ creates a great opportunity to connect with fellow therapists and keep your finger on the pulse in this diverse and ever-growing industry.
I enjoy travelling overseas with my family and exploring this beautiful country by land and sea with a tent in tow. I spend my free time playing competitive hockey, practicing Iyengar yoga and ocean swimming.
Nici started her role as EA in October 2018.
Email: Executive Administrator
General Administrator - Esther Shimmin
Keeping abreast of what's happening in the industry is important to me as well as seeking opportunities to further my professional practice through CPD.
After almost 20 years working in the corporate world I discovered massage when a therapist came to my office. After three 20 minute sessions I quit my job and enrolled to complete the level 5 diploma at NZCM in Auckland. I completed my diploma in June 2019.
After my experience of massage I became interested in stress management and using massage to alleviate the symptoms of stress. I now have a private practice working with a variety of people who are living with high levels of stress. I also contract for a corporate massage company which I love. I truly have come full circle!
I am a member of MNZ and love being part of the wider massage community.
I am originally from Scotland and came to NZ with my husband, Phil and two kids, Liv and Nathaniel 7 years ago.Esther started the role of GA in October 2019.
Email: General Administrator
Finance Administrator - Vicki Jopson
Born and educated in Dunedin. I graduated from Otago Polytechnic with a Diploma in Accounting. I am a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand. I have had more than 20 years experience assisting clients with their accounting and taxation needs; navigating compliance requirements.
Outside of work I enjoy walks on the beach at our crib in Taieri Mouth. Visiting family in Melbourne & knitting for my grandbabies.
Email: Finance Administrator
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