About Pivot Conference 2021

Come and help shape the future of volunteering in Aotearoa

Join us to Shape the Future | Tāraitia te āpōpō! Together we will envisage and define our future of volunteering, Te wā heke me te mahi tūao.

PIVOT 2021 will be a face-to-face event in Wellington, on 21 October, with a special networking and celebratory dinner the night before.

Why attend?

PIVOT is the annual volunteering conference in New Zealand, where you will connect with peers, share and learn together. You will be inspired by a range of practitioners and thought leaders, and leave with renewed optimism for the future of volunteering.

Keynote speakers and panel discussions will focus on wellbeing, leadership and inclusion, the three key strands that have surfaced as being important to the sector. You will learn about latest research about the community and volunteer sector and innovative practices in organisations.

The PIVOT Conference theme “Shape the future” challenges us all as leaders and managers of volunteers and volunteer involving organisations into action. Your ideas and expertise will be captured and reflected back as part of collective mahi to secure the future of volunteering within your organisation and beyond.

There are two key events:

  • Celebratory networking dinner: Wednesday 20 October
  • PIVOT Conference: Thursday 21 October.

Celebratory networking dinner

2021: Celebratory Dinner & Networking Event

Join us to celebrate 20-years of connecting, supporting and collaborating with the volunteering sector.

Volunteering New Zealand was established in 2001, the International Year of the Volunteer. This year was designated by the United Nations General Assembly to increase recognition, facilitation, networking and promotion of volunteering, and to encourage more people globally to engage in volunteering. This year was the catalyst for our creation, and it was made possible by collaboration between the New Zealand volunteering sector, regional volunteer centres and central government. Let’s recognise and celebrate the agents of change, and sector champions, as we look to shaping the future of volunteering and the next 20 years.

This event is brought to you with the support of Seek Volunteer.

Guest Speaker: Jehan Casinader

Wednesday 21 October, 6:30 pm Te Papa

Speakers and Presenters

Click on the images below to learn more about our speakers for the day.

Maretha Smit

Chief Executive, Diversity Works

Maretha Smit is the Chief Executive of Diversity Works New Zealand. She has a passion for issues of social justice and sustainability – and has held a number of transformational leadership roles, including executive roles in her native South Africa that required significant transformation as the country moved from apartheid to democracy. With a degree in psychology, an MBA and a trustee role at a migrant support organisation called Belong Aotearoa, she has a strong appreciation of challenges in diversity and inclusion. She believes in the power of connecting widely, and listening deeply, to build bridges across cultural and social differences.

Maretha Smit

Ryan Hooper-Smith

Board member, Volunteering New Zealand

Ryan is a first-year university student studying Commerce who also works at Trade Me part-time. He has a background in school-based and community volunteering, alongside mental health advocacy.

Ryan Hooper-Smith

Jonathon Hagger

Chief Executive, Rotorua Community Hospice

Jonathon Hagger is the Chief executive at Rotorua Community Hospice. He has been in this role for 3 years and enjoys it immensely. Hospices have a strong reliance upon and appreciation for volunteer workforce. Jonathon himself volunteers in various ways including as Treasurer for Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand and is a guide for disabled athletes who run as part of Achilles International New Zealand . Prior to his current role Jonathon worked in a student association which relied on students as volunteers

Jonathon Hagger

Jehan Casinader

New Zealand Journalist, Mental Health Advocate, Speaker & MC

Jehan will be speaking at the 20th Anniversary Celebratory Dinner.

Jehan Casinader is obsessed with great Kiwi stories.
In 2020, he was named “Broadcast Reporter of the Year” at the Voyager Media Awards, for his extensive coverage of the Christchurch terror attack. In 2018, he was named “Reporter of the Year” at the New Zealand Television Awards.
Jehan has worked in the fast-past world of primetime TV for more than a decade. Most recently, he spent four years as the youngest-ever correspondent for TVNZ’s flagship current affairs programme, Sunday. Previously, he reported for Seven Sharp, Close Up and Breakfast.

Jehan Casinader

Rose Hiha-Agnew

Programme Director, National Action Plan Community Governance

Rose Hiha-Agnew is programme director for the National Action Plan for Community Governance, supporting the detailed design, planning, development and roll-out of the plan. Rose brings to this role extensive experience in management and governance across iwi, community and governance organisations.
During her career in local and central government Rose has led environmental, Te Ao Māori, sustainability and infrastructure large-scale transformational programmes. This has included management of around $20 million in partnership investments with iwi and communities across New Zealand.
Rose’s governance experience includes chairing Keep New Zealand Beautiful and co-chairing the Endangered Species Foundation.
She is passionate about sustainable, economic, cultural and environmental opportunities that enable cultural perspectives and inclusiveness which lead to positive community outcomes.

Rose Hiha-Agnew

Rochelle Stewart-Allen

General Manager, Hui E! Community Aotearoa

Rochelle is Pou Kaiārahi (General Manager) for Hui E! Community Aotearoa, a peak body for the tangata whenua, community and voluntary sector. She is a senior leader with over 10 years’ executive management and leadership experience in the community, NGO, government and corporate environments. Rochelle has demonstrated a passion for philanthropy while playing a pivotal role in building, supporting and driving community initiatives. She has showcased her commitment towards honouring the core values and principles of New Zealand Aotearoa’s cultural diversity, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and everything that encompasses the New Zealand spirit.

Rochelle Stewart-Allen

Michelle Kitney

Chief Executive, Volunteering New Zealand

Michelle brings a valuable mix of management and leadership skills, and the ability to work collaboratively and innovatively. She is well known and respected within the sector and is passionate about increasing recognition for the value and impact of volunteering. Michelle has a background in communications, marketing and community engagement, and volunteer leadership. She has previously worked for a social enterprise, in the public sector and within the publishing and training industries and holds several governance leadership roles in the community sector.

Michelle Kitney

Anjum Rahman

Muslim community leader

Anjum is a New Zealand Muslim community leader and human rights activist. She is an advocate for the rights of Muslim women.

Anjum Rahaman

Conference content working group

Anisha Nadar

Community Services Coordinator, Plunket and VNZ Volunteer

Anisha is a leader of volunteers at Whānau Āwhina Plunket, and also supports Volunteering New Zealand’s policy and strategic work. She has experience in non-profit and volunteer management. Her qualifications are B.A. in Economics, Masters in Business and Management, and Certificate in Public Policy Analysis.  Anisha have a particular interest in public policy analysis and harnessing inclusivity within the policy frameworks. she is passionate about bringing her skills and expertise to foster VNZ’s advocacy work and help improve the volunteer landscape within Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Anisha Nadar

Berenice Langson

National Team Leader and Volunteer Coordinator

Berenice Langson has an extensive background working with volunteers and has worked
with various Not for Profits and NGO’s over the past 25 years. Berenice’s career includes volunteer leadership roles at Hospice West Auckland and Heart Kids New Zealand. Currently, Berenice is the National Team Leader and Volunteer
Coordinator in Tauranga for IHC New Zealand.

One of her greatest achievements was being the recipient of the inaugural Volunteer

Engagement Award in 2018. This Award offered by Volunteering Auckland, is in recognition

of ‘Outstanding Leaders in Volunteer Engagement’.

Berenice’s passion lies in making a positive difference in the communities that she serves
and is extremely honoured to be part to Pivot Conference 2021 working group.
Blind Low Vision NZ volunteers are a diverse group of people who provide support with Technology, Recreation, Fundraising, Guide Dogs, Collage Book Production, Library, Accessible Formats, Administrative functions and Vision Support. They complement a wide range of services to empower people who are blind, deadfblind or have low vision live the life they choose.

Berenice Langson

Dellwyn Moylan

Coordinator, Volunteer Mid and South Canterbury

Volunteering it’s in my DNA – I have been volunteering for nearly four decades and am so fortunate that my employment is as Coordinator/Kairuruku with Volunteering Mid & South Canterbury/ Te Rōpū Tūao I te waenga o Waitaha. I was brought up with volunteering just being something our family did. Today I volunteer as a Civil Defence Volunteer, a Branch member with Red Cross and a Caring Caller with St John. Lately I have been volunteering with short term event volunteering such Op-Protect, the Poppy and Star Flight, fundraising for Pink Ribbon and helping at the Pop Up Penguins Cholmondeley Children's Centre. While contributing to my community, helping make a difference I am rewarded for knowing I am making a difference and the buzz I get from volunteering.

In my work I get to meet so many incredible volunteers and wonderful organisation and assist them with trainings, advocacy, providing resources, arranging recognition opportunities and helping volunteers find a volunteering that is rewarding for them.

Dellwyn Moylan

Erica Herron

Reimagining Volunteering Project Manager, New Zealand Red Cross

Currently, I have the exciting role of project managing Reimaging Volunteering project at New Zealand Red Cross, creating a strategy for now and into the future. I have more than 10 years’ experience working in the Community Development field and managing some amazing volunteers to enable programmes and services in the local community. Recently, I have been managing the local programmes and volunteers in Wellington Region for the New Zealand Red Cross.

Erica Herron

Gillian White

Central Lakes Manager, Volunteer South

UK born Gillian has worked for Volunteer South - Central Lakes since its inception in 2011, balancing work with looking after her two children. She has worked with volunteers for over twenty years in a range of roles including full time volunteering, offender programmes and social service settings. She volunteers herself as one of two Volunteer Managers with The Wanaka Trail Ride. Based in the South Island's Central Lakes, Gillian loves working in this vibrant part of the country with such a range of exciting, meaningful and rewarding opportunities for volunteers to get involved in. She is passionate about everyone being able to volunteer no matter what their background, experience or circumstances. She is enjoying her involvement in the PIVOT working group, working alongside such a passionate team and seeing their planning come to fruition.

Gillian White

Heidi Quinn

Volunteer Management Lead, Volunteering New Zealand

Heidi career in the voluntary sector spans 15 years and 2 countries. She wears two 'hats', working
for Volunteering New Zealand and for Volunteer Wellington. She has a real passion for all things volunteering and when she's not at work, you'll find Heidi...volunteering! Heidi was delighted to lead the conference content working
group, which provided VNZ with guidance and suggestions for Pivot 2021.

Heidi Quinn


Please note, while the following speakers have been confirmed, their sessions may pivot slightly to fit the flow of the whole day.

WEDNESDAY 20 October 6:30-10:00pm
Volunteering New Zealand 20th Anniversary Event – Te Marae at Te Papa, Wellington

WEDNESDAY 20 October VNZ Evening 20th Anniversary Event – Marae at Te Papa, Wellington


6:30 pm Networking
7:00 pm Celebratory networking dinner
8:30 pm Key Note Address:

Volunteering New Zealand – 20th anniversary speech

Jehan Casinader – Flip The Script

10:00 pm Event close

THURSDAY 21 October 9:00 am – 5:30 pm

THURSDAY 21 October Pivot Conference – Shape the Future | Tāraitia te āpōpō!

Rydges Hotel, Wellington CBD 

8:00 am Registration opens and arrival tea and coffee
9:00 am Conference Opening Ceremony
9:30 am Keynote: Diversity and inclusion
10:15 am Morning tea, korero and networking
10:45 am Plenary Panel: Latest Volunteering Research
11:30 am The shape of Leadership
12:15 pm Round Table: The future of volunteering, te wā heke me te mahi tūao
12:30 pm LUNCH: Lunch, korero and networking
1:30 pm Johnathon Hagger– Our volunteer whakapapa – looking back to inform the future
1:50 pm Round Table: Sharing Innovations
2:30 pm Afternoon tea, korero and networking
3.00 pm Panel Discussion: The Future of Governance
4:00 pm Key Note: Belonging, how organisations can shift and reset
4:45 pm Closing ceremony
5:00 pm Networking – Rydges lobby bar


Book your tickets today

Bookings for our events can be made through Humanitix this year and events can be booked both individually and separately.

Our 2018 and 2019 conferences sold out, so secure your place today. We are offering early-bird tickets until 31 August!

Booking fees and GST are charged on top of this.


Registrations are now open. Fill out the form below to attend. Early bird prices currently apply.


Networking Dinner Te Papa

Networking, 3 course dinner and speakers $125

Pivot Conference only 

+ VNZ Members Pivot Conference 21st October $259

+ NFP non-member Pivot Conference 21st October $289

+ Public or private sector organisations non-member Pivot Conference 21st October $389

Pivot Conference networking dinner combo tickets

+ VNZ Members – Networking dinner 20th + Pivot Conference 21st October $359

+ NFP non-member – Networking dinner 20th + Pivot Conference 21st October $389

+ Public or private sector organisations non-member – Networking dinner 20th + Pivot Conference 21st October $489


Very good opportunity to have different perspectives and experiences shared.

2020 conference (online) participant

It was wonderful, networking and being with like-minded people and learning a lot more about different aspects of volunteering.

2019 conference attendee

Engaging, informative and inspiring.

2020 conference (online) participant

Accommodation & Venues

Venue: Celebratory networking dinner 

Te Marae, Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, 55 Cable Street, Wellington

Te Marae offers a singular experience within Te Papa and is also unique within Aotearoa. It is Te Papa’s response to the challenge of creating an authentic yet inclusive marae for the 21st century.

The space comprises a marae ātea and wharenui that cater for all the purposes such places customarily serve. It is also a living exhibition that interprets for visitors the meaning of the marae experience, and acts as a showcase for contemporary Māori art and design.

Venue: PIVOT Conference – Shape the Future, Tāraitia te āpōpō

The Rydges Hotel, 75 Featherston Street, Pipitea, Wellington, 6011

Rydges Wellington is centrally located on downtown Featherston Street with a unique combination of harbour and city outlooks. Our Wellington accommodation is within walking distance to Lambton Quay, Sky Stadium, Queens Wharf and Wellington Railway Station making it ideally positioned in the heart of the capital.

Accomodation: Rydges Hotel

Special accommodation offer from the Rydges Hotel (the conference venue):

· $229.00 Bed & Portlander Buffet Breakfast for 1

· $249.00 Bed & Portlander Buffet Breakfast for 2

Rates are inclusive of GST and are per room, per night