Meet the Board of Sister Cities New Zealand
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President: Hiromi Morris (Wellington)
Hiromi was born and raised in Japan. She visited New Zealand for the first time when she was a young student. It was an enlightening experience that subsequently led to her getting involved in supporting global connections through people-to-people exchanges since 1994 when Wellington/Sakai relationship was formed.
Hiromi became a SCNZ Board member in 2008 and has been President since 2013. She believes strongly in collaboration and working collectively with a wider range of organisations, embassies, central/local governments, businesses, communities, and schools. She is also enthusiastic to work with young people – our future leaders.
She is a food lover and enjoys tennis, yoga, reading, and movies.
Vice President: Ray Wallace (Lower Hutt)
Ray believes strongly in the Sister Cities philosophy of extending friendship with other countries and celebrating cultural diversity. He is in his second term as Vice-president of Sister Cities New Zealand.
Originally from Scotland, Ray came to New Zealand as a three-year-old, but remains very proud of his Scottish heritage. He has travelled extensively around the world.
Ray has served as a City Councillor and Mayor of Lower Hutt from October 2010-2019. It was his strong sense of service to the community and interest in local democracy that spurred him to stand for public office.
As Mayor for nine years, he strengthened relationships with Lower Hutt’s sister cities of Tempe in the United States, Minoh in Japan, and Taizhou in China . He is also the Chairman of the Hutt Minoh Friendship Trust, and has worked closely with his city’s Multicultural Council. Ray has also been a Justice of the Peace for 26 years.
He and his wife, Linda, a former International Relations Manager, enjoy spending any spare time they have with family and friends.
Director: Bernard Duncan (Christchurch)
Bernard is now semi-retired and works as a part time Trust Manager. He is married to Jane with three adult children and three grandchildren. His career has included farming the family sheep and crop farm and then setting up a financial planning business providing investment and estate planning advice.
Outside of work he has chaired the Christchurch China Sister City committee since 2010, been a secondary school Board of Trustee chairman from 2000 to 2011 and back in 1979 was the New Zealand president of the Young Farmers Club organisation.
In 1995 he was appointed as a JP and is a member of the Institute of Directors.
Director: Marcus Boshier (Wellington)
Marcus was born in Wellington. He went to school in Auckland. He then spent two years abroad before returning to Wellington. He completed a Bachelor or Laws and Arts majoring in French and Philosophy from Victoria University.
Marcus has an interest in connecting people and building and fostering relationships. He has worked at UNICEF NZ in the domestic advocacy team, the Ministry of Youth Development as a youth participation advisor, and now practices as an early resolution and restorative justice facilitator.
Marcus is involved in a mentoring programme through the Boys and Girls Institute, and also dabbles in triathlon and plays the bagpipes with the City of Wellington Pipe Band.
Director: Donna Favel (Ashburton)
Donna was elected as Ashburton’s Mayor in 2016 and has taken an active role in making people from other parts of the world welcome in her district.
Alongside Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton, she lead the migrant and newcomer portfolio of the Canterbury Mayoral Forum. The two districts are also piloting Immigration New Zealand’s “Welcoming Communities” programme. Donna says there are great synergies between Sister Cities New Zealand and Welcoming Communities, including their focus on friendship, co-operation and humanity.
Donna and her husband David own Ashburton’s cinema and rate movies, travel and attending art and cultural events among their favourite hobbies.
Director: Toni Grace (Palmerston North)
Toni Grace is actively involved in Sister Cities through her role as International Relations Manager at the Palmerston North City Council. She is also Vice Chair of the Palmerston North Branch of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs and has a deep interest in global affairs, and the role that cities and regions can play. Previously, she has worked as Senior Advisor International Strategy for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and at the British High Commission.
In her spare time, Toni enjoys karate, craft beer, cooking, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.
Advisor: Luke Qin JP (Wellington)
National Administrator: Jean Chua (Wellington)
Jean is a full-time artist, having graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing and minoring in International Business and Chinese.
Her experiences being on the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs Student Sub-Committee, as well as various other local community-based committees, have given her many opportunities to learn a lot about the world around her, both on a smaller person-to-person scale, as well as on an international scale. And it is with Sister Cities that she hopes she can continue learning, while also being able to give back to the community.
Caroline is a graphic designer working in marketing, who enjoys sewing, reading, hiking, and her two sausage dogs.
Living in Japan for a year on the JET Programme in 2011 opened her eyes to a different culture and the life-changing personal and professional benefits that come with having that experience. She wants to continue being involved with exchanges between New Zealand and other countries around the world and encourages others to participate. She is also a former President of JET Alumni Association South Island.
Caroline hopes to be able to use various forms of communication to be able to showcase the work of SCNZ with a variety of people; including members as well as those who don’t yet know about SCNZ.
Youth Sub-Committee Member: Raewyn MacGregor (Lower Hutt)
Raewyn MacGregor, originally from Auckland but now Lower Hutt based, works in a government department for her day job. In her spare time she plays taiko, runs and is part of the SCNZ Youth Sub-committee as well as Hutt Minoh Friendship House Trust.
Previously, Raewyn has been a volunteer with the JET Programme Alumni Association (JETAA) where she was Country Representative from 2015 to 2017, having been treasurer of the Wellington chapter and prior to that secretary of the Auckland chapter.
Her upbringing sparked a passion for internationalism and connection which she puts to use helping sister cities groups.