Our People

We are made up of over 40 committed volunteers across New Zealand and employ one core staff at the National Office in Wellington. We work together to inform, inspire and engage all New Zealanders regarding the work, goals and values of the UN to create a safer, fairer and more sustainable world.

The United Nations Association’s main ruling body is the National Council. It has three main roles per the Constitution:

  • Governance of the organsiation as a whole
  • Policy making body of the organisation
  • Coordination and support of our branches

The National Council meets up to four times a year in order to discuss and vote on yearly budgets, long-term strategic plans, policies, actions, and upcoming events.

The National Executive is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organization and the National office, upcoming events, payments and accounts. It employs the National Administrator, whose key role is public relations, organizational administration and development, and project and event management. The role supports the National President and our Regional Branches.

Honorary Life members are recommended by the National Council at an Annual General Meeting. Usually these are individuals who have carried out distinguished service for the United Nations Association of New Zealand, and/or the UN over a period of years. Honorary Life Members are non-voting members of the National Council. Our Constitution states that Life Members do not pay membership fees, may be in attendance at, and receive the papers for, the National Council with speaking rights, but no vote. Life Members have voting rights at any Special General and Annual General Meetings.


UNA NZ National Executive

  • Peter Nichols, National President
  • Joy Dunsheath, J.P., Immediate Past President
  • Dr Kennedy Graham, Vice President
  • Gayathri Palanisamy, Vice President
  •  Secretary
  • Maisy Bentley, National Administrator 
  • Chris Vogliano, National Administrator
  • Pete Cowley, National Treasurer
  • Shereen Al Faraj, Communications Officer & Events Facilitator
  • Mark Howard, National President, UN Youth New Zealand
  • Dr Mere Skerrett, National Council Representative on the Executive
  • Karim Dickie, National Council Representative on the Executive
  • John Morgan, National Council Representative on the Executive


UNA NZ National Council

  • Dr Kennedy Graham, Special Officer for UN Renewal
  • Jean-Paul Bizoza, Special Officer for Humanitarian Affairs
  • Alyn Ware, Special Officer for Peace and Security
  • Dr Paula Pereda-Perez, Special Officer for Human Rights
  • Dr Negar Partow, Special Officer for the UN Security Council
  • Dr Pedram Pirnia, Special Officer for Sustainable Development
  • Joy Dunsheath, Special Officer for WFUNA Liaison
  • Rob Clarke, Special Officer for UN Education
  • Luke Santamaria, Special Officer for Membership 
  • Dr. Ivan Chirino-Valleo, Special Officer for Climate Change & Environment
  • Dr Pedram Pirnia, Northern Region Branch
  • Dr. Gray Southon, President, Tauranga Branch
  • Mano Manohoran, President, Waikato Group
  • Kate Smith, President, Wanganui Branch
  • Julia Cerqueria Melo, President, Wellington Branch
  • Lynette Hardie Wills, President, Canterbury Branch
  • John Morgan, Ordinary Member of the National Council
  • Hana Mereraiha White, Ordinary Member of the National Council
  • Karim Dickie, Ordinary Member of the National Council


Honorary Life Members

  • Alyn Ware
  • Margaret Knight
  • Clinton Johnson
  • Dr Kate Dewes
  • Dr Graham Hassall
  • Mary McGiven
  • Margaret Knight
  • Margaret Arnold
  • Lady Rhyl Jansen
  • Mary Gray
  • Colin McGregor
  • Robin Halliday



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