Thousands of people work and volunteer for Save the Children all over the world.

The New Zealand team is based in Wellington, and is supported by a Board and volunteers throughout the country.

Chief Executive – HEIDI COETZEE


Save the Children founder Eglantyne Jebb had an unwavering belief that ‘humanity owes the child the best that it has to give’ – a statement that still informs and inspires the work and decision-making of Save the Children’s Chief Executive Heidi Coetzee every day.

A strong advocate for children’s rights and ensuring the protection and safeguarding of New Zealand’s tamariki and whānau, Heidi works to make children’s voices heard through advocacy, humanitarian and development initiatives through Aotearoa, Asia and the Pacific and to make a difference in a world where the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even harder for vulnerable children to survive the threats of conflict, climate change and food shortages.

An experienced leader with strong business, management and accounting skills gained through a career in both corporate and not-for-profit organisations, Heidi first joined Save the Children New Zealand in 2015 as Finance Director before being appointed Chief Executive in May 2017. Heidi’s business interests include developing partnerships that will positively influence strategic direction and performance, enabling the achievement of organisational objectives.

Outside of work, Heidi enjoys getting out on her bike and into nature, alongside spending time with whānau, friends and her feisty fox terrier Willem. 


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Fundraising Director - CHRISTINA HOEY


A commitment to helping change children’s lives for the better informs the work of Save the Children New Zealand Fundraising and Marketing Director Christina Hoey every day.   

A Certified Fundraising Executive with more than a decade’s experience in fundraising, and a Master’s Degree in International Development, Christina is the driving force behind Save the Children’s fundraising activities in New Zealand. Since joining the organisation nine years ago, Christina has helped grow the donor base from just 7000 monthly donors to more than 22,000 active givers, which has enabled greater commitment to Save the Children’s life-changing programmes for children in the Pacific and around the world.

More recently, Christina has led a refresh of Save the Children New Zealand’s digital platforms in order to better share the organisation’s work for children, made possible through the support of partners and everyday Kiwi supporters.  

Outside of work, Christina enjoys running, swimming, and biking. Before borders closed, Christina ran an ultramarathon (50km) in Australia, and, more recently, completed two half-ironman triathlons. Recovery time is also important when training, so she also enjoys reading and crafting. 


Child Rights Advocacy and Research Director - JACQUI SOUTHEY


Growing a culture where children’s rights are understood, respected and upheld is the vision of Jacqui Southey, Save the Children New Zealand’s Child Rights Advocacy and Research Director – and she is working towards driving systemic change where children will realise their rights in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Jacqui holds a Master’s of Education, authoring significant research on the positive discipline practices of parents of children under five years of age, and has extensive experience working in children’s rights. She is particularly interested in children’s participation and empowering children’s agency, child rights education, speaking up with and for children on issues important to children now and in the future, and education.

Prior to her role at Save the Children, Jacqui led the child rights education and youth participation programme at UNICEF New Zealand for seven years and was a primary school teacher for 10 years before then.

Outside of work, Jacqui enjoys spending time with her three adult children and three beautiful mokopuna and helping to create a positive and nurturing world for children.



Finance and Operations Manager - PETER SIM


Having been involved in a number of charitable fundraising activities over the years, joining the team at Save the Children was a natural extension for Finance and Operations Manager Peter Sim. 

A well-rounded finance professional with extensive financial management experience in the public and private sector, Peter has held a number of senior finance roles over his career including Chief Financial Officer, Finance Manager and Director roles. Peter, who is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Master of Business Administration, takes care of our day-to-day operations, including finance, risk management, and IT.

Outside of work, Peter enjoys travel, golf, walks and spending time with family and friends.



International Programmes Director - RACHAEL WAUGH


With extensive experience working across all aspects of international development management from project design to delivery, our International Programmes Director Rachael Waugh is helping build programmes that create lasting impact for children throughout Asia and the Pacific.   

Rachael joined Save the Children in late 2021 after more than a decade working in international development, including as Head of International (community development) Projects for Australia’s Salvation Army. In that role, she oversaw some 25+ community development projects across Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Rachael specialises in strategic alignment, project quality and compliance, alongside stakeholder and government engagement. 

She holds a Masters of International Social Development from the University of New South Wales and has completed leading sector training programmes.

Outside of work, Rachael enjoys travel, films, exploring the outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.


Our Board



Our board brings together extensive experience across a wide field of areas, including child rights, education, healthcare, strategy, technology, communications, law and business.


Chair – Susie Staley MNZM

Susie was appointed to the Board as Chair in March 2015. A lawyer based in Dunedin, she has a wealth of experience as a Director and has served as a Member and Chair of several Boards, including Maritime New Zealand, retirement village operator Chatsford Management Ltd and was appointed to the Board of the Broadcasting Standards Authority in October 2018. Susie has previously served on the Boards of PGG Wrightson, Tower Ltd and Dunedin International Airport Ltd and was the Chair of ID Dunedin Fashion Inc for some 15 years.

Susie was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in December 2014 for services to business and governance. 


David May

David has extensive management and board experience. He was Chairman of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund from 2002 to 2012 and has served on the boards of Southern Cross and Sovereign Insurance. He is a past CEO of Colonial NZ, Jacques Martin and ACC. An actuary by training David brings strong commercial and governance experience.


Dennis McKinlay

Dennis was appointed to the Board in March 2015. From 2001 to 2014, Dennis was the Executive Director of UNICEF. Now retired, Dennis is currently the Chair of the NZ Care Charitable Trust, and a Board Member of the Blumhardt Foundation and NZ Bridge Foundation.


Dr Suzanne Flannagan

Suzanne was appointed to the Board in November 2015. She has extensive executive experience leading sales and marketing teams including 10 years as General Manager for OfficeMax School Supplies. Suzanne brings to the board a proven ability for developing strategy and implementing effective change. She has extensive communications experience and an inherent passion for helping others. Suzanne has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Auckland, a Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) from Massey University and is a Chartered Marketer.


Suri Bartlett

Suri is the Managing Director of Tenzing Limited, a leading NZ based consulting firm specialising in technology enabled transformations. As Managing Director of Tenzing his primary roles is leading client engagements.  Suri has significant governance experience, principally in the delivery of large scale systems transformations.  Suri has a BCom and a BA from the University of Otago and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ACA).


Pat Walsh

Pat was appointed to the Board in 2021. He is the chair of the Academic Quality Agency and Copyright Licensing New Zealand and Deputy Chair of the Council of the University of the South Pacific. He is a member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Audit and Risk Committee. Pat was Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington from 2005 to 2014. He has a BA and MA from the University of Canterbury and a PhD from the University of Minnesota. Pat was appointed as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2015.



We partner with fundraising agencies to help us raise the funds we need to transform the lives of vulnerable children. You may spot one of our wonderful fundraising agents out on the street or at a shopping mall. They also work in residential areas and may knock on your door to chat with you about our work for children.

You’ll be able to recognise them by their red Save the Children jacket or t-shirt and a red lanyard with an ID badge attached. The badge clearly displays their name, a photo of them, and contact information for Save the Children.

When you sign up through our fundraising agents to become a regular giver, you’ll be asked for confirmation of your identity (driver’s license etc) and for payment details (credit card or bank account information) so we can set up your monthly donation. You will not be asked for cash or one-off donations.

Our fundraisers are currently working in: Christchurch, Amberley, Bishopdale, Casebrook, Harewood, Kaiapoi, Northwood and Picton.

Suburbs include: Belfast, Casebrook, Northcote, Parklands, Redwood and Waimairi Beach. 

Fundraisers are an invaluable part of our team and are important representatives of our organisation. If you would like to give feedback or have any questions, just call our friendly phone team at 0800 167 168.