Welcome to MNZ

Massage New Zealand (MNZ) is the only massage therapy specific membership body in New Zealand for professional Massage Therapists. Our purpose is to promote massage therapy and the ongoing development of the massage industry in New Zealand through educating the public about the benefits of massage therapy for health and wellness and supporting the public to access high quality massage therapy through our database of MNZ registered Massage Therapists. 


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Benefits of choosing a MNZ therapist

Massage New Zealand presents:

MNZ Conference 2020
New Plymouth

24 April 2020

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.

Organisational structure

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

Executive Committee

Co-chair - Helen Smith

I am looking forward to connecting with the current committee and continuing their great work in fulfilling the objectives of the MNZ membership.
  • Diploma in Body Therapies (Level 6)

I studied massage at NZCM Wellington in 2000 (the inaugural class) and graduated with a Level 6 Diploma in Body Therapies (as it was then called). I have been practising ever since. Currently I work 3 days a week at Victoria University of Wellington, where I have been for the last 16 years - massaging staff.

I was part of the committee that helped organise the 2013 Conference in Wellington. In 2016 I was voted in as Vice President and one month later the President resigned and I stepped into that role. A steep learning curve! At the 2018 AGM I stepped down as President and became Treasurer. I stepped away from that role after 4 months as I did not feel I had the necessary skills.

I am looking forward to connecting with the current committee and continuing their great work in fulfilling the objectives of the MNZ membership.

Helen was elected as President at the 2020 AGM. This role was altered and ratified as Co-chair at the MNZ Special General Meeting on 1st August 2021. Helen was then elected as Co-chair at the AGM in September 2021. 

Email Co-chair (Helen 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.
  • 2020 Bachelor of Health Studies (NMT), NZCM Wellington
  • 2020 Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy, Casley-Smith Australia
  • 2018 Oncology Massage, OML Australia

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: 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.
  • Degree in Applied Science (completed 2nd year)
  • BCom – Accounting
  • ALA Accredited Lymphoedema Practitioner
  • Diploma in Reflexology
  • Certificate in Oncology Massage - OM1 & OM2

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.

Email: Treasurer

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.
  • Bachelor of Health Studies (Massage and Neuromuscular Therapy)
  • Diploma of Clinical Neuromuscular Therapy
  • Diploma of Therapeutic Massage

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 - Alison Sullivan

I joined MNZ after graduating because I felt it was important to belong to a professional body, to give clients assurance that I am trained and qualified as well as to feel guided and supported by like minded therapists.
  • Diploma Clinical and Sports Therapy
  • Diploma Health Science (Therapeutic Massage)

In 2009 I began studying at NZCM Wellington doing my Diploma Health Science (Therapeutic Massage) and then returned in mid 2011 to complete the Clinical and Sports Therapy Diploma. My first career was as a dance teacher, so I have always had an interest in movement and the body; how it recovers from injury and caring for our body as it's the only vessel we have for this lifetime.

After graduating in 2010 I was lucky enough to start my business within a busy Physiotherapy Clinic in Lower Hutt. They had a multi disciplinary team approach and I enjoyed being part of a team. Unfortunately, due to building issues they moved most of the business into Wellington city, so I decided to set up my own clinic. In 2016 an opportunity arose to open my own multi disciplinary type clinic in Lower Hutt, over the last four years I have established a collaborative wellness hub with 5 Massage Therapists; Acupuncture; Exercise Therapy and Naturopath services.

I joined MNZ after graduating because I felt it was important to belong to a professional body, to give clients assurance that I am trained and qualified as well as to feel guided and supported by like minded therapists. In 2017 I was part of the Wellington Conference organising committee. Over the past year, along with my colleague Allison Anderson, we have been planning and coordinating the Wellington Massage Therapist meetings.

I decided to stand for Publicity Officer at the 2020 AGM firstly as a way to give back and to become more involved in uplifting Massage Therapy as a profession in New Zealand and to educate the public about Massage Therapy and MNZ.

In September 2020, Ali was elected as Publicity Officer at the MNZ Annual General Meeting. This role was changed to a non-specific Executive Committee member role and ratified at at the MNZ Special General Meeting on 1st August 2021. Ali was elected as Executive Committee member at the AGM in September 2021.

Email: Alison Sullivan

Executive Committee Member - Iselde de Boam

Iselde de Boam
I am compelled to work towards lifting the usual approach towards, and standard of Massage as an industry both from the public and practitioner viewpoints.
  • Dip. HSc (Therapeutic Massage)
  • Dip. Remedial Massage

I've been involved in Massage both in Australia and New Zealand as a teacher and practitioner. I qualified in 2003 with a Diploma in Therapeutic Massage at NZCM and then went on to complete a Diploma in Remedial Massage in 2009 at the Q Academy in Australia. I set out as a sole trader in 2010, having then been qualified for 7 years and it dawned on me that I was creating a career - not just a job. In 2013 I expanded from a sole trader with 4 contractors and took over Absolute Therapy, a 5 room health centre in central Wellington.

I have seen and experienced the validity of Massage and with our industry not being 'recognised' by institutions like ACC it was extremely important to me to belong to MNZ to show the public that I held a certain level of qualification. I'm committed to ongoing education and to upholding a high standard of ethics. I began attending local workshops and the MNZ AGMs. I saw that there was room to grow within the organisation and that my drive and motivation and organisational skills would be easily applied. In 2012 I became involved in the Governance Group overseeing the development of the new qualification pathway for Massage within New Zealand that was submitted to NZQA and in 2014 I took on the role of Lower North Island Regional Coordinator.

I encourage participation from members and try to keep a focus on communication. It is important to me that we all see ourselves as the industry, not separate to it and just belonging to MNZ. The more of us that are involved, the easier each role becomes, I'd love to speak to anyone who wants more involvement - no matter how big or small!

Iselde was elected to the position of AHANZ Representative at the AGM in 2018. This position was ratified as an Executive Position at the AGM in 2019. The role was again changed to a non-specific Executive Committee member role and ratified at the MNZ Special General Meeting on 1st August 2021. 

Iselde was re-elected at the AGM in 2021. AHANZ/Affiliate Representative is part of Iselde's MNZ executive portfolio.

Email: Iselde de Boam

Executive Committee Member - Shelley Moana Hiha

Shelley Moana was elected as Executive Committee member at the AGM in September 2021.

Email: Executive Administrator 

Executive Committee Member - Emily Bobbitt

The major challenge I think MNZ faces is enforcing the high standards of practice whilst building the educational network of opportunities available.
  • Certificate in Massage - Oregon School of Massage

My training started in Oregon, USA in 2016 at Oregon School of Massage (OSM). I completed a TCM focused curriculum specializing in Shiatsu practice. I learned a traditional modality for a modern clinical setting. Going in I knew that massage was only the first steppingstone to my career in the medical field. The OSM massage program is standardized by statutes and rules of licensure upheld by the Oregon Board of Massage. My first work experience as a licensed therapist was at a Motor Vehicle Collision Rehab Clinic with a team of Chiropractic Doctors. All my skills were sharped to achieve real life measurable results with a diverse clientele with traumatic injuries. My growing passion for holistic medicine has led me on a rabbit trail moving to New Zealand in pursuit for further study.

I joined MNZ when I learned that my overseas qualifications could be assessed and placed for a level of registration. As a Level 5 RMT, my employment options expanded, and I was hired for an RMT position. My employer voiced that there was a need for executive committee member nominations at the upcoming AGM. After reviewing the job description, I thought I could fulfil the roll and bring a few unique things to the team as an immigrant. This is a great opportunity to be an integral support for massage in NZ.

Emily was elected as Executive Committee member at the AGM in 2021.

Email: Executive Administrator 

Executive Committee Member - Vacant

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. 

Sub Committee

Education Committee - Pip Charlton, Dawn Burke, Joanna Tennent, Mark Gray

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.
  • Dip. Massage Therapy
  • PG Dip. HSc (Pain & Pain Mgmt) (graduating in Oct 2020)
  • Bachelor of Business Studies

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.
  • Dip. HSc (Massage & Sports Therapy)
  • Dip. HSc (Therapeutic Massage)
  • Cert. Relaxation Massage

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.

Right from the start of my training, I knew that belonging to an association of massage therapists was important for me professionally as well as for the industry. Having previously worked with GPs, nurses and midwives who all belonged to professional bodies that were strong, I knew the power that such bodies had through numbers, and what it means for legitimisation of our sector. I joined MNZ as a student in 2013 and have been a member since. I contributed the odd article to MNZ Magazine and in 2016 I did a stint as MNZ Executive Administrator for 15 months. During my time in this role I was able to use my previous operations and project management skills and experience to help MNZ increase its public profile through a major website rebuild, improve brand image, increase the range of member benefits and boost membership numbers. My own business continued to grow and time commitments to it meant that I could no longer juggle my growing business with a growing EA role. I resigned at the beginning of 2017 but continued to proof-read MNZ Magazine for Editor Carol Wilson. Then at the 2017 AGM, I was persuaded to take on the role of Co-editor, sharing the magazine workload with Carol.

Odette was appointed to the position of Magazine Co-editor at the 2017 AGM.

Email: Magazine Co-editor


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.
  • Bachelor of Health Studies (Massage and Neuromuscular Therapy)
  • Dip. HSc (Massage & Sports Therapy)
  • Dip. HSc (Therapeutic Massage)
  • Cert. Relaxation Massage

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.
  • Dip. Wellness & Relaxation Massage
  • BA Business Studies/Administration

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 - Sarah Duckworth

I started my career in a small business book-keeping 32 years ago when the first of my two daughters was 1 year old. Since then, I have worked in theatrical lighting hire and arts festivals, both in New Zealand and Edinburgh, as well as the publishing industry, a restaurant, a bakery and a retail audio store. My most recent client acquisition is an upmarket hair salon, which is loads of fun. I've also been Treasurer for my local Community Council, and for the Wellington Blues Club.

I like to spend my down time singing, hiking, entertaining friends and, most of all, with my two young granddaughters. I'm very much enjoying my new role at Massage New Zealand.

Email: Finance Administrator

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