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Our Executive


The NPANZ executive structure is different to other competitors. Our elected executive consist of a President, Vice-President and Treasurer who must all be nurses, these executive members make all policy decisions for NPANZ.

The Secretary is appointed by the executive under the constitution and does not make policy decisions. Instead, the Secretary sees to the day-to-day operations of the organisation on behalf of the executive.

When we say "Run by Nurses for Nurses" we mean it.

 Deborah Cunliffe 


Deborah, a retired RN / Clinical Nurse Specialist in Diabetes, is an educator, clinical counsellor and health activist who has worked in private and public health/education settings for over 40 years. Deborah's extensive history in governance includes executive roles within the Department of Health (UK) and not-for-profit organisations in both New Zealand and the UK.

Deborah's passion, 'to see the heart returned to nursing' has led to her current Presidency as she believes nurses deserve to be represented by organisations that are representative of their views. By providing a competing narrative, Deborah believes the NPANZ gives nurses an opportunity to stand up for what they believe and have their views counted.


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 Wendy Trimmer 

Vice President

Wendy Trimmer is a registered nurse with a MA (Applied) in Nursing. Wendy has  over 30 years’ experience in the mental health and education sector. Wendy worked in acute mental health settings, and then moved into education, teaching mental health, then moving into leadership positions within the tertiary education sector.  Wendy has an active research profile, research interests include mental health, leadership, and context based learning. Wendy currently teaches postgraduate students and supervises master’s candidates. 
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 Saskia Rietveld 


Prior to nursing Saskia worked in dentistry for 15 years, with 30 years in the health industry Saskia has a Master in Nursing and also a Master in Herbology. Saskia has a strong passion for community health and has worked as a district nurse, in leadership roles and as nurse specialist in diabetes working in the community with Type 2 diabetics. Saskia now works as an assessor in home based support. A strong passion for natural healing practices, Saskia also practices reiki alongside working with her herbs and crystals. A representative football player who believes in teamwork, health and wellbeing. 
A solo mother of a wonderful 22 year old son who is currently doing his PhD in biochemistry. Saskia loves to go away in her camper and spend time with friends and family.  
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The Nurses' Professional Association of New Zealand (NZ NURSES UNITED INCORPORATED NZBN: 9429051135430) is a union whose principal purpose is to protect and promote the interests of members in matters concerning their employment or professional engagement. No membership fees are used to support any political party, so we are able to source and/or provide representation for all members, on all issues.

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