Meet the Board

Our Board ( Governance Team ) is made up of eight experienced men and women who are passionate about leading Amnesty International in New Zealand. Meet our current members.

Peter Fa’afiu, Chair

Peter is a specialist in communications, government, and stakeholder relations. He worked as a New Zealand diplomat and trade negotiator in Indonesia, and as lobbyist for the New Zealand Post Group.

A Samoan New Zealander, Peter is currently a Partner with business consultancy, Navigator Limited. He was previously the Interim Chief Executive and General Manager Corporate Affairs at the Tāmaki Regeneration Company, an organisation tackling a programme of major developmental (in particular housing), economic and social regeneration in East Auckland. As Interim CEO in 2014/15, Peter was the youngest Crown company chief executive in the country at age 36.

Rosslyn Noonan, Vice Chair

Rosslyn is a long time supporter of Amnesty International and was elected to the Board in 2013. She brings a wealth of human rights knowledge and experience leading global human rights institutions.

Rosslyn is currently the Visiting Fellow at Auckland University’s New Zealand Centre for Human Rights and was New Zealand’s Chief Human Rights Commissioner for 2001-2011.

Geoff Walker, Treasurer

Geoff Walker is the Finance Manager at Trade Aid Importers Ltd where he looks after the finances for the Trade Aid Group including 34 charities for the head office entities and the 29 shops which are spread throughout NZ. Trade Aid Importers has an annual turnover of approximately $13m and has 4 business lines being craft, food, coffee and chocolate.

He is involved in a number of other charities and Public Benefit Entities (PBE) at a Board level including the Canterbury Earthquake recovery Network (CanCERN) and the Foundation for Youth Development Christchurch. He brings an understanding of both the commercial PBE / Charity sectors to Amnesty as well as an understanding and respect for the hard work that everyone involved puts into the cause. He is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Directors. Geoff lives in Christchurch with his wife and they have a 14 month old daughter.

Catherine Iorns, Board Member

Catherine grew up in a family that worked and campaigned for Amnesty International in the 1970s. She is a Senior Lecturer of Law at Victoria University. For the last 20 years has focused on human rights law, Treaty of Waitangi issues and environmental law.

Catherine’s primary areas of research and writing are in relation to indigenous rights. She is currently a member of the International Law Association Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Marianne Elliott, Board Member

Marianne trained as a human rights lawyer and has worked in the Gaza Strip for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, in Afghanistan as the human rights officer in the UN mission, in New Zealand for the Human Rights Commission and at Oxfam New Zealand as Policy and Advocacy Advisor.

Marianne is the National Director of ActionStation. Her focus is on enabling the large community of Kiwis who care about human rights, social justice, environmental protection and transparent government to take powerful, coordinated action on urgent issues.

Chennoah Walford, Board Member

Chennoah brings a vital understanding of youth issues, understanding and involvement to our Board. She has been a member of Amnesty International since the age of 13. Her activism has included leadership roles in student high school groups, university and regional groups. In 2011 Chennoah received the AMP study start scholarship and is completing a conjoint degree in Law and BA in International Relations and Politics at Victoria University.

Most recently Chennoah has been appointed “Youth Twin”, a new initiative where International Board members are connected to a youth leader.

Heather Hayden, Board Member

Heather has a strong background in working in a multicultural environment both in New Zealand and overseas.  Her experience ranges from community work with women and children in India, advocacy at international government level, developing national programmes and strategies for action in New Zealand, to turning round failing organisations.  She has worked closely with government and has developed a wide network within the government sector.  Heather is experienced in building strategic partnerships and introducing business systems and processes along with disciplined planning and financial management.

Heather has extensive commercial experience at the senior management level in New Zealand and internationally in the health and aviation sectors.  She has applied this business-focussed expertise to her work in the community and not-for-profit sector.

Passionate about making the world a better place for all, especially in the areas of poverty, inequality, discrimination and injustice Heather works at local, national, and international levels to see change take place. She has held roles in organisations as a senior manager and chief executive and in governance as a trustee, board member and chairman.

Heather is a very dedicated mother and grandmother with French and Australian grandchildren so has a personal commitment to ensuring the world is a place where children have hope in the future.  Her current hobbies (when she has time) are designing fine knitwear (and making it) and writing a book based on World War II diaries and letters of her father-in-law who served in TransJordan, Syria, Iraq and Egypt.

Archie Buissink, Youth Co-optee

Archie Buissink is our Youth Co-optee on Amnesty International New Zealand’s Governance Team.

Archie comes to us after leading the Amnesty International group at Auckland Grammar. Alongside that he has participated in a range of governance roles nationwide.

“I want to ensure that youth voices and ideas are heard at the top level of the organisation and the movement.”