Pivot Conference 2019

15-17 October 2019, Wellington


***Registrations for Pivot have CLOSED. Waitlist is available – please contact office@volunteeringnz.org.nz***

The annual Pivot Conference is Volunteering New Zealand’s key sector development initiative.

The Pivot Conference theme “Linking vision to action” challenges leaders and managers of volunteers to translate new ideas shared at Pivot into action within their organisation and practice.

Through Pivot, delegates are empowered to meaningfully lead, advocate for, and develop volunteers and volunteerism in Aotearoa New Zealand. Leaders and managers of volunteers will be inspired by a range of speakers who are experts in their fields. Pivot is a chance to connect with peers, and to share and learn together. With a range of International and New Zealand practitioners and thought leaders, participants will leave inspired and invigorated with skills and ideas.

At Pivot 2019 we want participants to leave with a renewed vision of the opportunities and the possibilities for impactful, meaningful and inclusive volunteering and its power: Whiria te tangata – weaving the people together.

This year the PIVOT conference is being held in Wellington. It kicks off with a networking event in the evening of 15 October at the Roxy Cinema in Miramar. The PIVOT conference is on 16 October, followed by a masterclass on 17 October, both at the Brentwood Hotel in Kilbirnie.

Speakers and Presenters

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

Andy Fryar

Better Impact

Andy Fryar is the National Operations Manager for Better Impact in Australia and New Zealand and the founder of OzVPM (Australasian Volunteer Program Management).

For more than 30 years has contributed significantly to the Australian volunteerism community. His achievements include serving as President of Volunteering Australia and convening the working party that later evolved into AAMoV - the Australasian Association for Managers of Volunteers.

Andy has helped produce three books on volunteer management and is a co-author of Volunteer Program Management: an essential guide (3rd edition) - Australia’s premier guidebook to volunteering. He has served on the editorial committee of the Australian Journal of Volunteering and since 2000, has been a founding member of the editorial team for e-volunteerism, an international electronic journal of volunteerism based in Philadelphia.

Andy travels extensively and has conducted volunteer management training and worked with volunteer involving agencies in many countries including the USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Singapore and the UK, where between 2004 and 2010 he was a faculty member with the prestigious ‘Institute of Advanced Volunteer Management’. He is also a co-founder of the Australasian Retreat for Advanced Volunteer Management that was held annually between 2005 and 2012.

Since 2008, Andy has volunteered his time as Chairperson of the global committee overseeing the promotion of International Volunteer Manager’s Day, celebrated on November 5 each year.

In 2003, Andy was awarded a Centenary Medal by the Australian government in recognition of his services to the volunteering movement in Australia.

Andy Fryar

Kerri Tilby Price

Exult Ltd

Kerri has worked in and for the community sector for 25 years and has been involved with all sorts of organisations in all sorts of ways. She has worked as a manager, a volunteer, a trustee and a consultant. Her passion lies with grass-roots groups who are committed to making a difference, no matter how hard they have to work to make it happen. She is currently involved with long-term volunteering in the Pacific nation of Vanuatu. You can catch up with Kerri’s adventures on Facebook by following the page: Sailing With Purpose. Kerri is described as a dynamic speaker and ‘terrific storyteller’ who engages her audience right from the get-go. Whether she is speaking to 10 people or 100, she has the unique ability to actively include the audience in her presentation.

Kerri Tilby Price

Melissa Clark-Reynolds

ONZM, ChMinstD

Melissa became a Professional Director after 25 years experience as an entrepreneur and CEO of a number of Technology companies. She was awarded the ONZM for Services to Technology in 2015. Melissa is a Governor of Radio NZ, sits on the Boards of Jasmax Architects, Beef and Lamb NZ and Kiwi Insurance Ltd. In recent years she has studied at MIT, Cambridge University and Stanford (twice!), as well as The Institute for the Future in Silicon Valley. Melissa works with companies to execute transformational strategies, through futurecentre.nz She tweets as @HoneyBeeGeek.

Melissa Clark Reynolds

Michelle Kitney

Chief Executive at 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

Tui Te Hau

National Library

Tui currently leads the public engagement, fundraising, operational and commercial activities of the National Library. At the heart of this work is connecting the knowledge and taonga held within the National Library with communities and visitors.
Tui has built complex national innovation programmes from scratch, including Mahuki: the world’s first business accelerator for the culture sector (located within Te Papa). She has also been a former New Zealand Trade Commissioner in Melbourne, General Manager of a leading creative digital agency, and Chief Executive of Creative HQ.
Tui also led the Maori Enterprise Team of Trade NZ (now NZ Trade and Enterprise). A scholarship recipient for the 2017 Global Women Breakthrough Leaders Programme and a finalist in the Government category of the Wellingtonian of the year awards 2017, Tui is passionate about creative entrepreneurship and innovation. She is also a board member for the Mary Potter Hospice.
Tui is an internationally recognized speaker on innovation in the culture and heritage sector and regularly speaks about leadership and innovation.

Tui Te Hau

Ross Patel

Governance Advisor

Ross completed a Masters in Experience and Service Design culminating in his ground breaking research Civic Circles. Ross specialises in youth engagement with Non-profit organisations. When Ross is not thinking of ways Volunteer organisations can engage more people in volunteering in their communities, he is volunteering his skills in community projects such as the Youth Aotea-Reo Project – developing an app for New Zealand youth which aims to provide youth support services in a more convenient way. Ross is also the President of the Multicultural New Zealand Youth Council. He also works as a consultant Service Designer in the LabPlus team in the All of Government Service Innovation Lab.

Ross Patel

Karen Smith


Karen is our previous Board Chair at VNZ. She completed a PhD thesis in 1999 titled 'The management of volunteers at heritage attractions: literary heritage properties in the UK' at Nottingham Trent University, working at the University of Greenwich before moving to Victoria University of Wellington in 2003 and rising to full professor in 2017.

Smith's research focuses on the management of volunteers, particularly at large sporting events. She has conducted projects related to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, London 2012 Olympic Games (funded by the International Olympic Committee) and the Rugby World Cup 2011 (funded by Sport New Zealand).

In the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours, Smith was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to education and volunteering

Karen Smith

Laura O'Connell Rapira

Director of ActionStation

Laura O'Connell Rapira (Te Ātiawa, Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Whakaue) is the Director of ActionStation, an independent, crowdfunded community campaigning organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders acting together to create what we cannot achieve on our own: a society, economy and democracy that serves everyday people and Papatūānuku. She is also the Co-Founder and Board Chair of RockEnrol, a volunteer-powered organisation dedicated to activating the political power of young people.

Laura O’Connell Rapira

Charlie Devenish

Victoria University of Wellington

Charlie Devenish is the Civic Engagement and Leadership Programmes Manager in Careers and Employment at Victoria University of Wellington. He manages the Victoria Plus Programme which is a student volunteer and leadership programme. Prior to joining the University Charlie worked for 8 years in Wellington’s community sector in a range of community development roles including Volunteer Wellington, Kaibosh and Enviroschools.

Charlie Devenish

Mark Long

Director, Scholar & Senior Leader

Mark has held senior roles within volunteer-involving organisations for many years and is passionate about enabling leaders to enhance their influence, and empowering organisations to be bold in developing strategies that promote a people-centred approach. Mark has a doctorate in organisational leadership – specifically volunteer leadership – and wants to share his research for positive social change.

Mark Long

Fletcher Pilditch

Barrister – Richmond Chambers

Formerly the Crown Solicitor for Rotorua, Fletcher joined the independent bar in 2014 where he acts for a wide range of clients in criminal, regulatory and public law litigation. His principal focus is on white collar crime and defending clients against regulatory prosecutions and other enforcement actions. He has over 20 years of experience appearing in all the Courts of New Zealand including the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He became the inaugural Convenor of the Auckland District Law Society Health and Safety at Work Committee, which was formed in response to the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, and he regularly delivers seminars and papers on this legislation. He is also admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Pitcairn Islands and is presently a senior magistrate of the Islands.

Fletcher Pilditch

Erina Papp

Organisational Development & HR Professional

Erina Papp is an experienced organisational development and HR professional with a focus on engaging others to achieve results and turn vision into reality. She brings a unique mix of in-depth HR and senior management experience, coaching, counselling and community development expertise enable her to work with people to address both business and interpersonal challenges. Erina is also Volunteering New Zealand's National Learning and Development Manager.

Erina Papp

Gail Marshall

Communications Professional

Gail is a freelance communications professional with around 20 years experience across the not-for-profit, corporate and public sectors. She is also a trustee and matchmaker-in-chief of the Community Comms Collective, a 100% volunteer-run organisation which she co-founded in 2013. Gail is also a Board Member of Volunteering New Zealand.

Gail Marshall

Helga Wientjes

VNZ Board Chair

Helga is the Capacity and Development Manager at the Cancer Society of New Zealand. Helga has 10 years of experience of establishing supportive environments for volunteering in the not-for-profit and government sectors and is also on the advisory committee of her local timebank.

Helga Wientjes

Louise Aitken

Ākina Foundation CEO

Louise is a strong advocate for social responsibility and impact, driven to make meaningful change by putting positive impact at the heart of our economy. She leads a talented and passionate team of impact, procurement, investment and consulting experts, providing support, capability and thought leadership both across New Zealand and internationally.

Louise joined Ākina in 2016, following a successful corporate career, which included the management of New Zealand’s largest corporate social responsibility programme. She sits on the Board of the Impact Enterprise Fund (New Zealand’s first impact investment fund) and on the National Advisory Board for Impact Investing Network Aotearoa New Zealand.

Louise Aitken

Hon Poto Williams

Minister of Community and Voluntary Sector

Hon Poto Williams is the Labour Member of Parliament for Christchurch East, where she lives. Poto became the MP for Christchurch East at a By-Election in November 2013. She is now the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, and is the Associate Minister for Social Development, Immigration, and Greater Christchurch Regeneration.

After gaining an MBA and Graduate Certificate in Research Methods from Manukau Institute of Technology and Southern Cross University, Poto has worked in and managing community health and community mental health services, residential disability services, working with single parent families, youth services, family violence and refuge. Working in mental health provided the opportunity to engage in strengths based, recovery focussed and client centred work, which has guided her practice ever since.

As the Minister of the Community and Voluntary sector, she understands the importance of forging constructive relationships with the sector and passionately believes the sector is an integral part of the Government’s agenda with the Wellbeing Budget.

Hon Poto Williams


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


5:30 pm VNZ Networking Event – Roxy Cinema, Miramar
6:00 pm Presentations: Tui Te Hau, and Melissa Clark Reynolds
7:00 pm Networking  & Nibbles!



8:00 am Registration opens and arrival tea and coffee
9:00 am Conference opening and welcome
9:15 am

9.30 am

Right Hon, Poto Williams, Minister for Community and Voluntary Sector

Helga Wientjes, Volunteering New Zealand Board Chair

9:40 am Keynote: Laura O’Connell Rapira, Director ActionStation – Enabling people powered change
10:30 am Morning Tea: Networking & Korero
11:00 am Presentations:
Lessons in leadership Volunteer Manager Wellbeing 
Exploring new research conducted at FENZ on volunteer leadership. What does the research tell us about leadership style and its impact on engagement. Explore key recommendations to reduce turnover and increase volunteer satisfaction.

Mark Long

The scope and role of a volunteer manager continues to grow in scope and complexity. Often the support mechanisms in place do not exist to support them. In this interactive session we will explore some key strategies to support volunteer managers to flourish.

Andy Fryar, Better Impact

Who’s giving their time? What do they value? Volunteers and the law 
The latest stats on volunteer participation. Who is volunteering the most? What are the key demographic trends in New Zealand? What can we extrapolate from the latest international research on how volunteers give their time? Lessons from NCVO’s Time Well Spent.

Professor Karen Smith

Explore real case studies to better understand the legal frameworks and implications that impact on volunteers within your organisation. Who is responsible, and for what? From Health and Safety and governance for Non-PCBUs to driving and insurance.

Fletcher Pilditch

1:30 pm Lunch and networking
2:15 pm Workshops:

Participatory solutions focused workshops, exploring ways forward with objective of sharing back to the wider group before close of conference.

Workshop 1:  Engaging Young Volunteers: Stories, lessons and Insights. Workshop 2: Employee volunteering and the Impact 2030 Council Meeting Workshop 3: Empowering your own professional development.
3:15  pm Afternoon tea: a chance to continue the korero with new connections!
3:45  pm Update from our sponsors: Careerforce
4:50  pm Closing Keynote Address: The Akina Foundation: An update on Impact
4:45  pm Closing Comments: VNZ
5:00 pm VNZ AGM


8:30 am Registration, arrival tea and coffee
9:00 am Masterclass – Collaboration for Innovation, Ross Patel


Tuesday Night Networking Event

15th October. 5:30pm-7:30pm. Roxy Cinema, Wellington.

A networking event to meet and connect with all attending the conference.
Presentations later in the night to be presented by Tui Te Hau, and Melissa Clark Reynolds.
Nibbles provided.

Contact office@volunteeringnz.org.nz for more information.


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


Register here now!


Collaboration For Innovation

Presented by Ross Patel

17th October. Brentwood Hotel, Wellington.

9am – 3pm. Registrations open from 8:30am.

This Masterclass is SOLD OUT.

Collaboration is at the heart of this masterclass. Led by Ross Patel, a qualified service design guru, you will work with your peers to collectively plan for systems change within your organisation. You will shape the change our sector needs.

In this interactive session you will explore, map, and scope the operational, timing and resource requirements for creating systems change within your organisation.

Central to achieving our road map will be exploring how we shift the conversation away from negative narratives to articulating positive solutions-focused approaches. In the process we will explore some key issues: retaining volunteers, individuals giving less, engaging with youth volunteering, plus more.

You will leave with an Action Plan for your organisation and a supportive network for future collaboration.

The conference was everything I expected and more; great opportunities to learn, share, and network. 

Volunteer Marlborough

Well organised; the speakers were excellent and I really enjoyed the day. Thank you

Department of Corrections

Thoroughly enjoyed the day and the opportunity to connect with others and share best practice around volunteerism. 

Scouts New Zealand

Accomodation & Venues

This year the PIVOT conference is being held in Wellington.

***Registrations for Pivot have CLOSED. Waitlist is available – please contact office@volunteeringnz.org.nz***

It kicks off with a 2hr networking event in the evening of 15 October at the Roxy Cinema in Miramar. The PIVOT conference is on 16 October, followed by a masterclass on 17 October, both at the Brentwood Hotel, in Kilbirnie. See the map below for location details.

Accommodation: Great accommodation options are available at the Brentwood for a Conference discount price of $149.50. To secure this great deal, please use this booking form.

Tranfers & Parking: There is lots of free parking at, and around, the venue and the Brentwood Hotel offers free airport transfers for accommodation guests.